My Auntie Mae makes the best Cabbage Rolls. I always loved holiday dinners at their place because in addition to the huge turkey and all the trimmings she always made these amazing Cabbage Rolls and Perogies!
I emailed her for the recipe and she was gracious enough to share it with me, bless her heart!
They are kind of labour intensive but once you get going it is OK, plus it makes a ton, so lots for now and lots to freeze to make later!
I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to make them taste as good as hers but I followed the recipe exactly and they turned out perfectly!
What you need,
Note: I made ½ of the original recipe she sent me and I had a full pan for dinner and enough to freeze a second pan for later. The full recipe would be enough to feed a small army! Or the Clarke Clan I guess!
1 ½ lbs. ground beef (lean)
1 lb. ground pork
¾ cup rice, I used regular uncle ben’s converted rice
¾ cup pearl barley
1 ½ large onions, finely diced
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 ½ tsp. garlic powder
2 cups cold water
1 can (14oz) diced tomatoes with the juice
1 can tomato soup
1 48 oz. jar or can of tomato juice
1 large sour cabbage, get 2 if they seem small.
Start by placing both meats in a very large bowl. Gently break it up with a spoon until it is loosed and in small bits.
Add in the rice, barley, onions, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Stir in the water and mix well. Let the mixture stand for 15 minutes. The mixture should look moist but not wet; if it seems a bit dry add a little more water.
You need this moisture to help cook the rice and barley. It needs to be moist but you want it to hold together.
Roll the meat mixture into 3 inch logs, about 1 inch wide, about 2 heaping tablespoons of meat per log. Place them on a large cookie sheet as you make them.
Once you are done rolling you can separate the cabbage leaves. Be gentle, they will pull off one at a time.
Place them in a large bowl. Keep any broken ones or small pieces separate, you will use those later.
To roll, take a cabbage leaf, cut the large vein out carefully with a knife; it can be a bit chewy.
Place a meat log onto the leaf, near one end and tightly roll it up, tucking in the sides as you go along.
(I would have taken pictures of this process but I was home alone and it is kind of a messy situation so I decided to steer clear of touching the camera!)
Keep rolling until you have done all the meat logs.
In a large roasting pan lay the cabbage rolls in side by side in a single layer. If you are cooking all of them you may have to do 2 layers. I only cooked half the rolls. I put the rest into an airtight container and popped them in the freezer to bake another day.
In a separate bowl combine the can of tomatoes, the tomato soup and the tomato juice.
Pour the tomato mixture over the cabbage rolls until they are just covered. I used about ¾ of the tomato mixture. You can pour any extra over the rolls you are going to freeze. You will have to add more juice when you go to cook them. If you are cooking all of the rolls you will need all the juice mixture.
You can use any of the broken or small cabbage leaves to layer over the top of the rolls.
Cover the baking pan with a lid or tin foil and place in the oven at 350 degrees for about 2 ½ hours.
After the first 2 hours I removed the tin foil and let them finish off uncovered just to thicken up the sauce and crisp up the top cabbage a bit, I like that part!
Remove from the oven and let stand about 10 minutes before serving.
To bake any left overs thaw in the fridge overnight. Make another batch of the tomato sauce, pour over and bake. You could also do them in the slow cooker from frozen, on low for 8 hours.
Thank you so much for the recipe Auntie! They were so tasty,
Now I have to tackle your Perogies!
Recipe from my Auntie Mae