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. 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 (Reserve smaller leaves for the sauce)
½ Lb. ground beef (I used ground chuck) or use all ground beef
½ Lb. ground pork
½ onion finely chopped – for the filling
½ onion finely chopped – for the sauce
1 celery stalk finely chopped
1 medium carrots grated
½ medium green pepper finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves minced
1 cup of cooked long grain rice
1/4 cup plaint bread crumbs/panko
4 TBSP Butter
1 TBSP Olive oil
10g unflavored gelatin mixed in 1/4 cold water
1 15oz. can of stewed tomatoes (in celery, onion and green bell)
½ cup dry white wine
1 Cup chicken stock
2 TBSP tomato paste
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Cabbage – Cut the core out of the center of the cabbage. Place in at least a 7 Qt. pot half full of boiling water with the core side up. Boil a couple of 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 and that the leaves are cooked but firm enough to roll. Remove the small remaining cabbage and return the leaves back in 3 to 4 at a time and boil another 30 seconds or so. Set aside to cool. With a knife slice the top main part of the rib off of the cabbage leaf to make the leaf flexible.
Rice – In left over cabbage water cook rice 10 minutes and remove and drain.
Carrots – grate in a food processor.
Chop the Mirepoix – Add celery, onion, garlic, bell pepper and 1½ TBSP butter chop in a food processor.
Filling – Mix the rice, ground meat, bread crumbs, mirepoix, celery, salt, gelatin and pepper. I mixed it in a KitchenAid 3 minutes on stir setting with the mixing blade. Spoon ~ a third cup of filling and make a cylindrical meatball and place in a cabbage leaf. Fold the top over tight then the sides and roll the cabbage and place in a 13×9 dish.
Sauce – Saute the left over chopped cabbage in 2 TBSP butter and brown and remove. Add the chopped carrots and ½ onion finely chopped and chopped garlic in olive oil and saute. Add the stewed tomatoes, wine, chicken stock, tomato paste salt and vinegar. Bring to a simmer and place 1/2 at the bottom of a Dutch Oven.
Cooking – Add the rolls in the pan. Cover with the rest of the sauce and a couple of cabbage leaves. Cook covered on 325° in the oven for 60 minutes. The idea is to cover the rolls so that they steam in the oven making the cabbage very tender and easy to cut with a fork. Check the rolls to make sure the cabbage is cooked. Remove the rolls into a cover cookware bowl.
You can leave them in the frig overnight and reheat.
Plate, cover with sauce, sour cream and chopped fresh dill.
As of 10/24/22