By: Heather Meyer
Serves 4 (about 12-14 cabbage rolls). Note: Instead of baking cabbage rolls, you can save time by cooking them in a large sauté pan that has a tight fitting lid. Cook for about 35 minutes over medium-low heat if using this method.
- 1 head green cabbage
- 1 ½ cup cooked short grain brown rice (Note: Use 3/4 cup rice to 1 ½ cup water. This allows the rice to stay a bit “al dente”, so it can gather in all the lovely juices from the meat and the sauce)
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ cup diced onion, shallots or leeks
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb. ground beef Sunshine Harvest Farms
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup minced fresh herbs (dill, parsley, mint, thyme, and basil…whatever you have)
- 1 cup greek yogurt and/or sour cream mixed with 1 teaspoon dill, for serving
- Assortment of pickled vegetables from Martha’s Joy
For the Sauce:
- 1/2 Tablespoon butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup broth or water
- 1, 28 oz. can of crushed organic tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 teaspoon caraway seed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon honey from Ames Farm (optional for a sweeter sauce)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil to blanch the cabbage leaves.
Separate about 12-14 cabbage leaves (plus more for “patching” the rolls as needed) using any method. I like to carefully cut out the core of a raw head of cabbage with a paring knife, and then peel off the outer layers. Other methods of separating cabbage leaves include: blanching the entire head and even using a hole saw! Once the leaves are separated, boil them for 2-5 minutes until pliable. Set them aside on a cutting board or plate to cool.
Make the sauce: Saute the garlic in butter in a medium sauce pan for about a minute. Add the tomato paste and cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and set aside.
Make the filling: In a large bowl combine the cooked rice, egg, milk, onion, garlic, beef, salt and pepper and herbs. Mix with your hands until ingredients are evenly distributed. Place about ¼ cup filling in center of each cabbage leaf, and roll it up, tucking in sides (think egg rolls).
Pour half of your sauce into a baking dish (9 x 12 or slightly larger works well). Add cabbage rolls to the pan–pack them in tight! Pour the rest of the sauce evenly on top so all the cabbage rolls are covered. Cover pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until filling reaches 160 degrees. Serve with dill infused sour cream and pickled vegetables.