Mom’s Cabbage Rolls with her Potatoes Romanoff
I already posted a recipe for Cabbage Rolls that I thought were the ones my Mom used to make. They were good, but they didn’t taste like the ones I remembered. I just recently discovered why.
I had the wrong recipe. I found the one for the cabbage rolls I remembered in her pile of recipes. The other one must of been her ‘lazy’ cabbage roll recipe or something. Ha! So, of course, I had to try them again.
Above is the recipe in my Mom’s Handwriting. As you can see from her note, this recipe is really my Auntie Joan’s. Looks like Mom sent me her Mustard Pickle recipe too, but I can’t find that one. Luckily, when I wanted to make mustard pickles, my Aunt Marilyn sent me hers which is probably where my Mom got hers anyway!
Anyway, this recipe produces much more flavorful cabbage rolls than the other one I posted.
1 -2 heads of cabbage*
*1 head of cabbage would probably be enough if you could manage to get all of the leaves off the cabbage without ripping them, but I can never seem to do that. I always use two heads of cabbage to make sure I have enough usable leaves.
Ingredients for Meat Mixture:
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 lb ground sausage
- ½ large onion grated, divided
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 3¾ cups cooked rice
Ingredients for Sauce:
- 3 Tbsp oil
- ½ cup celery and leaves, diced
- 7 oz Tomato Paste
- 3 cups water
- ½ large onion, grated
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 Tbsp Pickling Spice
- 2 tsp BBQ Powder
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- ½ tsp Curry Powder
- ½ tsp Paprika
Preparing Cabbage Leaves
You can prepare the cabbage one of two ways:
A. You can boil the head of cabbage for about 3 minutes so that you will be able to peel the leaves off.
B. You can freeze the heads of cabbage a couple of days ahead of time, then take them out of the freezer at least 6 hours before making cabbage rolls. The leaves will peel off easily after the cabbage has defrosted.
Assembling Cabbage Rolls
- For sauce, saute celery in oil in a large saucepan, then add rest of sauce ingredients. Simmer for about an hour. If you want to avoid pieces of hard spices in your sauce, I’d wrap the pickling spice in cheese cloth.
- For meat filling, combine all ingredients for meat mixture in a large bowl.
- Peel cabbage leaves off cabbage and then roll about 1/3 cup meat mixture in each one, securing with toothpicks.
- Place all cabbage rolls in large roasting pan.
- After sauce has simmered for an hour or so, pour it over the cabbage rolls in the roasting pan.
- Bake at 350° for at least two hours.
Here is how mine went:
I mixed the beef and sausage together well. It’s easiest just to use your hand.
Then I mixed in the cooked rice, onions and salt and pepper.
I put about 1/3 cup meat mixture into each cabbage leaf – on the thick end of the cabbage. I tucked in the sides of the cabbage leaf as I rolled it up.
I secured the cabbage rolls with two toothpicks.
I put all of the cabbage rolls in a roasting pan.
Then I poured the sauce over the cabbage rolls.
I didn’t bake them long enough – it was only about an hour or so and the cabbage was still a little tough and the flavors hadn’t mingled enough.
I was quite disappointed with them at first, but when I reheated the leftovers the next day, they were so much better! So much more like Mom’s. I just hadn’t cooked them enough!
I put in the directions to bake them for at least 2 hours, but 3 might be even better.
Here are the finished cabbage rolls again. They are best served with perogies, but I had some of Mom’s Potatoes Romanoff in the freezer from Christmas, so I just heated those up.
The only other thing I need to mention is that Steve wasn’t crazy about the Pickling Spice in the sauce. I quite liked the taste of it, but I didn’t like the hard bits of cinnamon and cloves in the sauce. Next time, I think I will wrap the pickling spice in cheese cloth or maybe even just leave it out since Steve didn’t like it.