I have made this dish several times before but I keep making adjustments. This one I like b/c it brings me back to my roots in New Orleans’s for meat stuffing. Instead of a Mirepoix (onion, carrot and celery), I went with the New Orleans Trinity of onions, celery and bell pepper. Instead of tomato puree or sauce, I went with a tomato soup. Tomato soup is a puree BTW, with a few extra stuff, it is not as acidic as puree, once again Campbell’s wins. This all comes back as a favorite of mine for stuffing green bell pepper or mirlitons (aka chayote squash). Only with mirliton, I like to use ground lamb. This substitute blend of Trinity offers a little more punch. I have researched the origins of this dish (the way Grandma made it) but those left me little in want of just a little more flavor. Don’t get me wrong. Grandma’s is always good.
(Click on pic to enlarge)
1 head of cabbage
1 cup rice (cooked al dente)
2 TBSP butter
½ Lb. ground meat
½ Lb. ground pork
½ onion finely chopped
2 celery stalks with leaves finely chopped
1 medium green pepper finely chopped
1 large garlic clove minced
3 scallions (Green onion) finer chopped
1 TBSP dried parsley
1 cup long grain rice
3 cans of 10 oz. tomato soup
½ cup Sour Cream
1 cup of dry white wine (Chardonnay) or reserve one cup of the cabbage water
Rice – In a 2 quart pot bring 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water to boil, reduce to simmer, cook 8 minutes, place the rice in a strainer and rinse with cold water to stop it from cooking. You want the rice to be half cooked.
Cabbage – cut the core out of the center of the cabbage. Place in at least a 7 Qt. pot of boiling water with the core side up. Boil three minutes and then gently remove the first of three or four leaves with tongs and place on a tray, keep doing this until you have peeled all the biggest usable leaves. Remove the small remaining cabbage and return the leaves back in 3 to 4 at a time and boil another 30 seconds or so. With a knife slice the main part of the rib off to make the leaf flexible. Set aside to cool. Reserve the largest first leaf to place over the rolls later.
Sauté Trinity – the onion, celery, green pepper, garlic and green onion mixed in butter cooked on medium-low for 6 to 8 minutes. Not to overcook b/c all this will go in the pot for an hour.
Mix everything but the cabbage leaves in a bowl. Spoon ~a third cup of filling in a cabbage leaf. Fold the top over then the side and roll the cabbage and place in an iron Dutch oven. Stack into the Dutch oven.
Mix a can of tomato soup with 1/3 cup of white wine. Pour over rolls. Do this for all three cans. Layer the reserved largest first leaf over the top of the pot.
Cooking – Bring the pot to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook 1 hour. Ladle in about 3/4 cup of cooked tomato sauce in a two cup measuring cup and add the sour cream. Mix with a spoon and pour back over the pot and adjust the rolls so the sour cream can rest in between the rolls. Not to overcook the sour cream. Just to blend it in the pot and serve.
As of 1/17/21