Cabbage rolls are delicious...especially when someone else is making them. That's because they take a long time and rolling them can actually be quite difficult.
If you don't have a European grandma handy don't worry, there's another way. Cabbage rolls are made for slow-cookers. Here's an easy recipe that will let you come home to deliciously tender rolls.
- 1 head green cabbage
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) salt
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
- 1 small onion, small diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and grated
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound (450 g) ground beef
- 1/2 pound (225 g) ground pork
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon pepper
- ¾ cup (175 ml) cooked rice
- 1 cup (250) beef broth
- 1 14.5-ounce (425 ml) can pureed tomatoes
- Now here's what you do with all that:
- Fill a large stock pot with water and 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to a rapid boil.
- Using a paring knife, cut the core out of the cabbage while leaving the cabbage leaves intact. When water is boiling, gently drop in the entire head of cabbage. Cover the pot with a lid and boil the cabbage for about 7 minutes.
- Using two large spoons, remove cabbage from the water and place in a colander. Keep the water at a boil.
- Gently remove outer leaves from the head of cabbage as soon as they're cool enough to handle. When leaves become harder to remove, return the whole head of cabbage back to the water to continue boiling. Repeat until you have 14 to 18 nice cabbage leaves. Set the rest of the cabbage aside; you'll need it later.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and ground pork, breaking it up as you add it to the pan. Stir and cook for about 10 minutes, until the meat is browned. Add rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper, stirring to mix.
- Place cooked meat mixture in a large bowl until cool enough to handle.
- Add cooked rice to the bowl and mix to thoroughly incorporate with meat mixture.
- Chop up some of the remaining cabbage into 1/4-inch strips so that you have about 3 cups of shredded cabbage. Lay this in the bottom of an 8-quart slow cooker. Pour in the beef broth.
- One at a time, lay a cabbage leaf on a plate. Take about 2 to 4 tablespoons of the filling (depending on size of cabbage leaf) and place in the center of the leaf. Fold the cabbage leaf over the filling, and then pull to tighten. Fold in the sides of the leaf over both the filling and the tucked end, and tightly roll the rest of the cabbage. When cabbage roll is made, lay it on top of the shredded cabbage in the slow cooker. Repeat with remaining cabbage rolls and filling.
- Pour the pureed tomatoes over each cabbage roll so all are covered. Place lid on slow cooker and cook on low for 7 hours or on high for 4 hours.
It's worth the work! One bite and you'll know why cabbage rolls are a recipe that every family hands down through the generations.