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Old Fashioned Cabbage Rolls

Old Fashioned Cabbage Rolls

Grandma's Comfort Classics: Old-Fashioned Cabbage Rolls

These Old-Fashioned Cabbage Rolls are a heartwarming dish bursting with flavor and tradition. Imagine tender cabbage leaves, stuffed with a savory ground beef and rice filling, all bathed in a rich tomato sauce. This recipe, inspired by generations of family cooking, is sure to become a favorite in your own home.

What Makes This Recipe Special?

  • A Taste of Home: This recipe captures the essence of comfort food, drawing inspiration from the wisdom and flavors passed down from a grandmother's kitchen.
  • Easy to Make, Easy to Love: Don't be fooled by the deliciousness – these cabbage rolls are surprisingly simple to prepare. Plus, they can be assembled in advance and refrigerated until ready to bake, making them perfect for busy weeknights or entertaining.
  • Flavorful and Filling: The combination of seasoned ground beef, fluffy rice, and tangy tomato sauce creates a flavor profile that is both satisfying and delightful.

Ingredients:

  • Savory Filling:

    • 1 cup cooked long-grain rice
    • 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
    • 1 ½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 yellow onion, peeled and minced
    • ⅓ cup parsley, roughly chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • ½ teaspoon dried dill
    • ½ teaspoon onion powder
    • ½ to 1 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
  • Tangy Tomato Sauce:

    • 42 ounces tomato sauce, divided (about 5 cups)
    • ½ cup water (reserved from boiling cabbage)
  • Cabbage Layers:

    • 1 medium head green cabbage (about 18 leaves for rolling + 8-10 for layering)
  • Finishing Touches:

    • Fresh dill, chopped (optional garnish)

Instructions:

  1. Cooking the Rice: Prepare the rice according to package instructions and set aside to cool slightly. While the rice cooks, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

  2. Savory Filling Magic: In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, egg, cooked rice, onion, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, dill, onion powder, and red chili flakes (if using). Mix everything together thoroughly until well combined.

  3. Preparing the Cabbage Leaves: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Carefully add the head of cabbage and cook for 8-10 minutes, turning it over halfway through the cooking time. This will soften the cabbage leaves for easy rolling.

  4. Assembling the Cabbage Rolls: Once cool enough to handle, remove the cabbage leaves from the pot and gently remove the thick core from each leaf. Reserve some of the leftover cabbage cooking water for later.

  5. Filling and Rolling: Spread about ¼ cup of the ground beef mixture onto one cabbage leaf. Fold in the sides and carefully roll up the leaf, seam side down, to create a neat cabbage roll. Repeat this process with the remaining cabbage leaves and filling mixture.

  6. Building the Casserole: Place a layer of cabbage leaves in the bottom of a deep 9x13 inch baking dish or roasting pan. Arrange the filled cabbage rolls seam-side down in a single layer on top of the cabbage leaves.

  7. Creating the Sauce: In a separate bowl, combine the remaining tomato sauce with ½ cup of the reserved cabbage cooking water. Whisk everything together to create a smooth sauce. Pour the sauce evenly over the cabbage rolls.

  8. Baking to Perfection: Cover the baking dish tightly with foil. Bake the cabbage rolls for 2 hours and 15 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes, or until the cabbage leaves are tender and the filling is cooked through.

  9. Serving Up Comfort: Once cooked, carefully remove the foil cover (be aware of steam) and discard the top layer of cabbage leaves. Let the cabbage rolls cool for 20 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh dill, if desired, and enjoy a taste of grandma's kitchen comfort!

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