Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
My grandmother's recipe!!
Makes 12 rolls and serves 6
½ cup white rice
1 tablespoon safflower, sunflower or other neutral oil plus some for flying
1/2 small yellow onion, minced
1 ½ pounds grass-fed ground beef, 85% or ground turkey thigh
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large head cabbage, savoy or other, cored
2 cups tomato puree
Place 1 ¼ cups water in a small saucepan. Add 3/4 teaspoon salt and the rice, cover and over high heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the rice is tender and the water has been absorbed, about 20 minutes.
Place the rice in a large bowl.
Warm the oil in a small frying pan over medium high heat and cook the onion until soft, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the onions to the rice. Add the ground beef and 1 teaspoon salt and mix well with a wooden spoon. Divide the beef mixture into 12 separate mounds.
Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil.
Carefully remove as many of the outside leaves of the cabbage as possible. If you need to core the cabbage again, continue so you can continue to remove the leaves, one at a time. You will need at least 20 large leaves. Working with a few leaves at a time, submerge the leaves in the boiling salted water until they have wilted but are still bright green, 4 to 5 minutes. Using tongs, remove the cooked leaves, one at a time, and place on a baking sheet to cool.
With a small knife or vegetable peeler, shave the thickest part of the cabbage leaf rib from each of the leaves.
Preheat an oven to 350F.
With the stem end closest to you and the inside of the leaf facing up, place a mound of the beef towards the core end of the cabbage leaf. Form it into a log shape about 1-inch by 2 or 2 ½ -inches. Fold the two outer sides on the right and left in towards the center and starting on the core side, roll up the leaf to completely enclose the meat and form a small bundle.
Line the bottom of an oiled 5-quart baking dish with half of the remaining leaves.
Place the bundles side by side in the baking dish. Add 1 teaspoon salt to the tomato puree and pour the mixture over the cabbage bundles. Place the remaining leaves over the cabbage rolls.
Bake in the oven until the cabbage is tender and the tomatoes are bubbling around the edges, about 2 to 2 ½ hours.