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Gastronomically yours,

Here is a recipe and some lore on cabbage rolls with a conversation from Facebook that has some great ideas and suggestions add to it

Cabbage roll please

Humans the world over have been using food wrappers for centuries to either transport or cook their meals in. Leaves are the most commonly used food wrapper and vary only by geographical regions. Mediterranean people use the fig and grape leaves, the Americas used corn husks; tropical regions used leaves from banana, lotus and bamboo while Asia used seaweed.
As we began to discover flours and their uses we began to wrap our foods in a variety of thin dough’s that were often stuffed and then steamed, boiled or fried. While the dough recipes are often similar, they too are diversified only by their regions with examples including the Filipino lumpia, Japanese gyoza, and Jewish kreplach wrappers.
Although many of these wrapped foods are defined by their regions one wrapped food that has seen no boundaries is the cabbage role. Cabbage roles are cultural mainstays throughout European, Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines and were quickly shared throughout the world as people began to move about the planet. Cabbage rolls are as unique as their creators as it seems that just about everyone has a different way of making them.
With cooler weather on the way we have a tendency to start eating differently, we start to put on our dietary winter coat which is often found in carb and fat heavy meals prepared throughout autumn. Cabbage rolls are a healthy, inexpensive alternative to other heavy casserole and crock pot meals and can be made well in advance or stored in the freezer. The following recipe is easily made using Ontario grown produce. It also requires a number of pots and pans so make sure someone volunteers to help with the dishes.

Cabbage Rolls
Ingredients:
2 large heads savoy cabbage
Sauce:
2 tbsp. butter
2 large white onions, diced
1/4 tsp. caraway seeds, crushed
3 tbsp. packed brown sugar
2 cans (each 28 oz/796 mL) crushed tomatoes
Salt and Pepper

Filling:
2 tbsp. butter
3 onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Dried thyme
1/2 cup long-grain rice
1-1/4 cups chicken stock
1 lb. lean ground pork
½ lb. lean ground beef
1 tbsp. Hungarian paprika
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
1 egg, lightly beaten
Salt and Pepper

Method:
Cabbage: Place a large pot of salted water onto boil, as it won’t do so by watching it you can core out the cabbages. Cook the cabbages one at a time in the boiling water for about 5 minutes until the exterior leaves become tender. Remove the cabbages from the boiling water and cool them down under cold water.
Start removing leaves from core end, being careful not to tear them. After you remove about 8-10 leaves or when they become hard to remove you will need to re-boil the remaining cabbage for a few more minutes before continuing. With a paring knife remove any of the thick veins from the cabbage leaves and set leaves aside to dry.
Sauce: In a large sauce pot, melt butter over medium heat. Sauté the onions until they become translucent before stirring in the caraway and brown sugar about 10 minutes or until onions are a deep golden brown colour. Stir in the tomatoes and let the sauce simmer for about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Remove sauce from heat and set it aside.

Filling: In another large sauce pot, melt butter over medium heat; stir in the onions, garlic, and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until the onions begin to soften. Stir in the rice and continue stirring the mixture until the onions begin to brown. Next stir in the stock and bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot and let the rice cook until tender and all of the stock has been absorbed
Preheat a skillet or cast iron pan over medium heat. Cook the pork and beef over medium heat, stirring often, until meat is thoroughly cooked. Remove pan from heat and drain off excess fat. Stir the paprika into the cooked meat, and then stir the cooked rice and meat mixture together. Taste this filling and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let it rest long enough that it cools down and can be comfortably handled. Once the meat has cooled, stir in the parsley, dill, and egg.
Lightly coat the bottom of a large roasting pan with some of the tomato sauce. Into the centre of each cabbage leaf spoon about 1/4 cup or a small handful of the rice/meat filling into the centre. Fold the end and sides over the filling and roll it away from you, then repeat until all of the filling is gone. Arrange half of the cabbage rolls seam side down, in the sauce lined pan Top these roles with half of the remaining tomato sauce. Arrange remaining cabbage rolls on top of the first layer also seam side down and finally; pouring the remaining tomato sauce over top the top. If you have any extra cabbage leaves spread them over the top of the cabbage rolls as it will prevent your cabbage rolls from scorching.
Cover and bake in 350°F oven for about 2 hours or until tender. Serve hot or let them cool down before storing them in the fridge or freezer.

Donna Geary
For the first time in my life, I am attempting cabbage rolls. Recipes? Please and thank you.

Stuart Harrison Boil the cabbage in someone else’s house…

Donna Geary I honestly forgot about that, Stu!

Barb O’Brien So many recipes, Joe says, call me when they are ready, I’ll bring the beer!

Greg Grimshaw Just need vodka, spaghetti sauce and rice. Mix sauce and rice. Place large spoon of mix in steam softened leaf cabbage. Roll it like you are tommy chong… Drink vodka.. Straight in shot glasses. mazal tov. Grab another leaf. repeat.

Kerry Jo Rudd there is something out there called cabbage roll soup….sounds easier than rolling those leaves! yikes! get the wine out

Nicole Grady Get the sour cabbage from metro. It makes them so much better!!

Jeannine Taylor I steam ours and use nappa. I have a great vegan recipe but you might miss the meat.

Paula J Wagar-Wilkinson Good luck.

Greg Grimshaw There is no vodka in Brian’s recipe. I have real Ukrainian women make rolls and pierogi. There is always vodka.

And vodka is gluten free

Kim Waudby I like Brian’s version. It’s close to mine but I done pre cook the filling and add the chicken stock to the roaster to help cook the rice. I also line the pan with all the left over bits of cabbage as well as on top for a cover. Then cook for 3 hours. Put the leftovers in individual containers and freeze for lunch. Yum

Penny Hope First…..take apart the cabbage and save the leaves for later use in the recipe.

Donna Geary Thanks Brian Henry and Kim Waudby for the recipes. I’ve been told that I will be eating it alone, so am less motivated.

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