To make a really good stuffed cabbage, you need to start with authentic Hungarian Kielbassi or some other Eastern European style sausage. And it needs to be fresh, not smoked and cured. I have also included a variation if you can't find a local kielbasa supplier. This dish can easily serve as a one pot meal, but you can always add boil potatoes or egg noodles. My family likes the sauerkraut as much as the cabbage rolls so feel free to double up on the sauerkraut layers. —Bubba Mac
fresh Hungarian Kielbasa, removed from casing (you must use a fresh sausage and not a smoked hard one)
1 1/2 cups
cooked white rice
medium onion diced
egg lightly beaten
large cabbage leaves ( no holes please)
fresh sauerkraut, rinsed in cold water and drained
green and red peppers, cut into strips
Medium onion, halved and sliced thin
1 1/2 cups
white wine, I use Sauvignon Blanc
28 oz can of whole tomatoes with liquid
Some form of smoked pork…pork ribs, knuckles, hocks, etc. (ask your butcher to saw them into small pieces for you)
Start by picking through the cabbage leaves and selecting the largest and the most perfect ones. Cut about a 2 inch section of the hard core from each stem and parboil the cabbage leaves in salted water for 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Set aside for now.
Prepare the stuffing by mixing the sausage, rice, onion and eggs together. ( I use my hands here.)
Now if you can't find a good quality Hungarian Kielbasa or Eastern European style sausage, you can use 2 lbs of fatty ground pork, 1 tb each of kosher salt and ground pepper, 1 tb each of sweet and sharp paprika, 4 cloves of garlic finely minced.
Make your sauerkraut layer by mixing together the drained sauerkraut, green and red pepper, onions, tomato paste, tomatoes, wine and pork. I use my hands to mix and break up the whole tomatoes.
Using about 2 - 3 heaping tb of stuffing, add to lower third of each cabbage leave at the stem end. Fold up from the bottom, then two sides, then top over and place on a plate seam side down.
When all cabbage are stuffed, make a layer of 1/2 of the sauerkraut mixture in a large casserole with 1 bay leaf. Add a layer of all cabbage rolls then top with the remaining sauerkraut layer and the 2nd bay leaf. (if you have any stuffing left over, i make small meatballs and add on top of the sauerkraut)
Cover with a circular piece of wax or parchment paper, bring to a simmer on the stove, then place in a 300 degree oven for 2 hours. After 1 1/2 hours remove cover and check …if too much liquid has formed, leave cover off the for the remaining 1/2 hour.