Ruth's Sweet and Sour Stuffed Cabbage

By Marian
March 24, 2018
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Ruth's Sweet and Sour Stuffed Cabbage


Author Notes: This is another of my mother's recipes that she never wrote down. I submitted her recipe for brisket (Ruth's Brisket) to Food52 last year. I recently typed this recipe for relatives, so now I'm sharing it with you!Marian

Serves: 4

  • 3 pounds head of green cabbage
  • 1 pound ground beef (85%-90% fat)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown or white parboiled or cooked rice
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large apple, cored, peeled & sliced
  • 8 ounces can tomato sauce (without added spices)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry (inexpensive drinking quality)
  • 1 tablespoon light or dark brown sugar (more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup golden or brown raisins (or a mixture)
  1. Cover the bottom of a large Dutch oven or 12-inch skillet (not cast-iron) with the apple slices and set aside.
  2. Place a metal colander or large strainer inserted in or over the top of an 8-quart pot. Add water to the pot to be below the colander.
  3. Discard 1 or 2 outer tough leaves of the cabbage and slice the bottom of the stem to make a fresh cut. Place the cabbage stem down in the colander. Place a lid on the pot (it doesn't have to fit tightly) and bring the water to boil.
  4. Steam the cabbage until the head softens and lightens in color. Remove the cabbage and take off the wilted leaves. If only the outer leaves are soft, return the cabbage to the pot to wilt more leaves. Continue until you have 12 leaves (this may take up to 30 minutes). The leaves should be tender but not falling apart.
  5. Place the wilted leaves on clean kitchen or paper towels to cool and dry a bit. Shred the remaining cabbage. Take just enough slices to cover the apples slice in the Dutch oven and discard the rest.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine meat, Worcestershire sauce, rice, onion, garlic and salt/pepper to taste.
  7. Place a small handful of meat (about 1 1/2 inches in diameter) in the base of each leaf. Roll each leaf from the base and tuck the sides under to make a small package.
  8. Place the cabbage rolls into the skillet on top of the cabbage and apple slices.
  9. Pour the tomato sauce over the cabbage rolls and cover the pan. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes over low flame/heat until liquid develops in the bottom of the pan.
  10. Stir lemon juice, sherry, brown sugar and raisins into the liquid in the pan. Cover and simmer until the meat is done and cabbage is tender, about 1 1/2 hours more.
  11. If the sauce is thin, remove the top of the pan and cook for 5 minutes more to thicken the sauce a bit.

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