Challenges, Recipes

#SBCC Day 2: Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage

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.

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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)

Ingredients :

  • 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
  • Dill

What’s Next?

  1. Drop the cabbage leaves in boiling salted water until they become well wilted.
  2. Cut the heavy core out of each leaf.
  3. Combine the meat, rice and onion. Add the garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  4. 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.
  5. Place half of the sauerkraut in bottom of a large pan.
  6. Lay cabbage rolls on top of sauerkraut.
  7. Add remaining sauerkraut.
  8. Pour 3 cups of tomato juice and enough water to cover sauerkraut and cabbage rolls.
  9. Sprinkle caraway seeds and dill over the entire mixture.
  10. Cook for 1.5 to 2 hours, simmering only.

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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.

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