The Spring Break Cookbook Challenge continues! On day 2, I decided to go for a classic I had never tried before: stuffed cabbage.
Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage, from The Magyar Magic Cookbook
The recipe came from a cookbook given to me by my stepmother-in-law 3 years ago. The cookbook is filled with recipes gathered by the First Hungarian Evangelical and Reformed Church. From what I understand, the church started printing this book in 1978 and the copy I have is from the 10th printing, in 1993. I have a feeling there isn’t a ton of copies so I am glad to have one of them.
Normally, I don’t copy recipes from cookbooks but since this one isn’t available for purchase, here is the recipe:
Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage (Toltottka Kaposzta)
- 1 lb. Ground beef
- 1 lb. Ground pork
- ¾ cup uncooked rice, washed
- 1 good-sized onion, sauteed in bacon fat or butter
- 1 small head of cabbage
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Clove of garlic
- Medium can of sauerkraut (I used one that was not marinated in vinegar)
- ¼ tsp caraway seeds
- Drop the cabbage leaves in boiling salted water until they become well wilted.
- Cut the heavy core out of each leaf.
- Combine the meat, rice and onion. Add the garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Take 2 tablespoons (mine were more like 1/3 cup…it depends on the size of your cabbage leaves) of mixture and put on a cabbage leaf. Fold one end of leaf over the meat and roll, squeezing the other end.
- Place half of the sauerkraut in bottom of a large pan.
- Lay cabbage rolls on top of sauerkraut.
- Add remaining sauerkraut.
- Pour 3 cups of tomato juice and enough water to cover sauerkraut and cabbage rolls.
- Sprinkle caraway seeds and dill over the entire mixture.
- Cook for 1.5 to 2 hours, simmering only.
As you can see on the picture above, I didn’t have a pan that was quite large enough. I used our biggest one and it still overflowed. Part of the trick is that I didn’t realize the rolls would expand as the rice was cooking. What seemed like a reasonably-sized pan at first turned out to be a bit too small about halfway through the cooking time. Or maybe this is normal and I am just not used to having a messy stovetop. 🙂
The result was very tasty! My husband (Mr. Picky) ate two rolls, and asked if I put the recipe in our shared Paprika account (i.e. he will likely want to make this one again). I was a bit full from snacking all day but I was happily surprised by the taste. Although I never had a cabbage roll before, it definitely tasted like comfort food.