If you haven’t tried making stuffed cabbage, you need to. It’s truly an easy method, and you’ll be surprised at how the cabbage leaves just naturally roll right up and seal around your filling. My mother-in-law makes an amazing Syrian stuffed cabbage, that I’ll make myself someday and leave you with the recipe. But, for now, I’m sharing Paula Deen’s recipe with you and one that I liked just as much as the Syrian version. Although, they are much different.
These cabbage rolls are stuffed with ground beef, onion, raisins and rice, then topped with a scrumptious tomato-based sauce. Paula suggests serving them with a dollop of sour cream, but I forgot that part and definitely didn’t miss it.
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1 medium head (about 2 pounds) green cabbage
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup cooked rice (white or brown)
- 1/4 cup raisins (I use golden)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 can (16 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- sour cream, for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13- by 9-inch pan with cooking spray or oil.
In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Using a small, sharp knife, cut in a circle all around the stem of the cabbage and remove the core. Place the cabbage in the boiling water. After about 2 minutes an outside leaf will come loose--pull it off and out of the water using tongs. After another minute the next leaf will come loose. Remove and repeat until you have 8 to 10 leaves. Pat the leaves dry with paper towels. Cut out the thick part of the rib from the bottom of each leaf, but don't cut more than a third of the way into the leaf.
In a mixing bowl, combine the beef, cooled onion, rice, raisins, and salt. With the stem side of the cabbage leaf facing you, place a scant 1/3 cup of the beef mixture in the center of each cabbage leaf. Fold the bottom edge over the mixture and then fold the sides over and roll into a tidy packet. Place the cabbage rolls, seam side down, in the prepared baking dish.
In a bowl, mix together the tomato sauce, broth, and paprika. Pour evenly over the cabbage rolls. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Optional: Serve the cabbage rolls with a big dollop of sour cream.