Friday, September 28, 2012

Cabbage Roll time!

A week before Thanksgiving!  Really?  How did that happen?

I have been thinking about Thanksgiving, and even talking about it - but it did not really hit me...WHAM!.... until today, that next weekend is the long Thanksgiving weekend!

Guess I was thrown off because it is quite early this year.  Usually my birthday falls on the Thanksgiving weekend - this year it is a week later.

So of course I am going to make my cabbage rolls this weekend - I need them for dinner next weekend!  All I had to do is suggest making the cabbage rolls, and hubby jumped right in, offering to head to the store today for ingredients. 

He did too... He has picked up the ground pork and the ground beef, and all I need to get tonight when I do my weekly shop is cabbage and sour kraut.

I don't actually use a recipie - nor do I really measure - but this is roughly how I do my cabbage rolls.

My Cabbage Roll Recipe...  this makes a large dutch oven full - or more!

1/2- 1 lb lean ground pork
1/2-1 lb lean ground beef.
1-2 onions
garlic (crushed)
1- 2 cups uncooked long grain rice.
3 really full large heads of cabbage
1 large jar of sour kraut
1 can of tomato soup.

Mix ground beef and ground pork together in a large bowl.  Add seasoning to taste... is use salt, pepper and seasoning salt.  Remember the pork will absorb a lot of your flavour - so if you think you have used too much salt - you have probably used just the right amount.

Chop the onion finely and crush the garlic and mix in with the meat mixture.  Add the uncooked rice and mix well - set aside.

Fill a large pot (I use my dutch oven) with water and get it to boil.  Remove outer leaves of the cabbage, pierce the cabbage around 4 sides of the core as deep as you can with a knife and set the cabbage in the boiling water core side down.  I usually leave it there for a couple of minutes until I see the cabbage is turning a darker color, then I gently peel the first leaves off and let them lie in the boiling water for a few minutes.  All you want to do is soften the leaves so they will be easy to wrap - you don't want to completely cook the cabbage.

I peel leaves and let them soak while I wrap the ones already peeled so there are always leaves ready when I have finished wrapping.

Take a softened leaf, with a sharp knife trim the center part of the leaf (from the core) so it is not so thick,
Place about 2 tablespoons of the meat/rice mixture in the center at the bottom of the leaf and give the leaf 1 roll.  Bring the sides in and tuck around the mixture and then complete the roll.  Tick the ends in the pockets at each side and repeat with another leaf.

I cook my cabbage rolls on the stove top. 

Take a large pot (another dutch oven) and place half of the contents of the sour kraut jar liquid and kraut in the bottom of the pot.  Layer your wrapped rolls in the pot until the pot is 3/4 full.  Cover the rolls with the rest of the kraut in the jar and then add water to cover the cabbage rolls.

Remember the rice will expand - so leave room for the cabbage rolls to grow...

Cover and bring to a boil.  When the water reaches a boil - pour the can of tomato soup over the top and reduce the heat to simmer.  Let simmer for a couple of hours until cabbage is cooked through.

Cabbage rolls are always best the second day - at least I think so - so when they are done let them cool and place them in the freezer or the fridge in an appropriate container.  I freeze mine in ice-cream pails but you can freeze them in bags - although I find this a bit messy.

To serve heat in the microwave or in a pot on the stove and serve...

You can also freeze the rolls on cookie sheets and then transfer them in freezer bags if you would rather cook them in smaller amounts.


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