I know that Cabbage Rolls are not traditional English food. I think they are probably something that originated in Eastern Europe, but they are something that we have enjoyed for many years in my family.
When I was a child, it was always a real treat when my mom had Cabbage Rolls on the menu. She made hers quite differently than most. They were cooked in a huge Wearever Aluminum pot on top of the stove all day, and she always added potatoes, carrots, and wedges of cabbage to the pot along with the cabbage rolls.
My dad never liked the cabbage. I never liked the meat . . . but we made a deal with each other every time my mom made them. I gave him my meat, and he gave me his cabbage. We were both happy.
Oh how delicious those vegetables were on my plate . . . the potatoes lightly mashed with my fork, and then all of them spread with cold butter and sprinkled with salt and pepper. The butter melting and mingling with the vegetable juices and tomatoes . . .
Oh my . . . just the thought of them makes my mouth water.
I make mine quite differently than my mother did. She never put rice in hers, but I like rice in mine. I also add minced streaky bacon to the meat mixture, which gives it an added layer of flavour.
She only ever used tinned tomatoes to cook hers in. I have developed a delicious and slightly sweet and sour tomatoey sauce to cook mine in.
Her's were cooked on top of the stove. Mine are baked in the oven, so that those tasty little rolls aborb all the delicious flavours from the sauce and become meltingly tender.
Both quite different from the other . . . but equally as delicious. I do hope you will give these a try before the weather becomes too warm for oven meals.
That beautiful Spring Cabbage that is in the shops right now, (the pointed sweetheart variety) is just perfect for these!!
This is our favourite cabbage roll recipe. Delicious, moist and meaty with a fabulous sweet and sour sauce. These always go down a real treat. I often double and triple the recipe when I take them to pot luck suppers. I always bring home an empty dish.
1 pound extra lean minced beef
1/4 cup raw long grain rice
1 large egg, beaten
1 medium onion, peeled and grated
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound smoked streaky bacon, minced
12 wilted cabbage leaves, thick veins trimmed to thin
For the sauce:
80g soft light brown sugar, (1/2 cup packed)
2 ounces fresh lemon juice
8 ounces passata
Place the meat into a bowl and mix together with the rice, egg, onion, carrot, garlic, salt, pepper and bacon. Mix well. Shape into 12 equal sized ovals. Place each oval at the wide end of a wilted cabbage leafe. Roll up, tucking in the sides to completely encase the meat. Place, folded side down, into a greased baking dish. Mix together the brown sugar, lemon juice and tomato sauce. Pour this sauce over the rolls. Cover tightly with a lid. Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F. Place the casserole into the heated oven and bake for 1 hour. Uncover at the end of that time and bake for 20 minutes longer. Serve hot.