Every year at about this time I make a big pot of my grandmother’s stuffed cabbage. It doesn’t matter if it’s 90 degrees outside. I dedicate a couple of hours in the hot kitchen to whip up what could be my favorite meal of all time, the essential dish for any family reunion or even small picnics with only our close family. The hardest part of extracting this recipe from my grandma who, as the first grandchild I named Nanny, was getting exact amounts for the ingredients. My uncle did his best to replicate her recipe out of her “little bit of this, some of that” instructions. It’s pretty darn close!
Nanny’s Stuffed Cabbage
1 large head cabbage
1 pound ground meat
1 cup cooked rice
1 onion chopped
1 egg slightly beaten
1 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. allspice
18/ tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 can sauerkraut
2 8-oz. or 1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350. Core cabbage. Place core end down in saucepan and add about 2 inches of boiling water.
Simmer until cabbage leaves are just soft enough to roll easily. Drain & cool (but don’t let them cool too much or they will stiffen back up.)
Meanwhile combine beef, rice, onion, egg, salt, pepper, allspice, nutmeg and garlic powder. Carefully remove leaves from cabbage. Place beef mixture in center of cabbage leaves dividing evenly. Roll up leaves, tucking in edges.
In a large baking pan, combine sauerkraut, half of the tomato sauce & brown sugar. Place cabbage rolls, seams down on the sauerkraut. Pour remaining tomato sauce & brown sugar over rolls.
Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 3 hours.
On heated serving platter arrange cabbage rolls on sauerkraut. Serve with sour cream if desired.