Stuffed Whole Cabbage – Eastern European Recipe
I was chatting with a friend of mine about cooking ….surprise…..surprise…; she was telling me about an interesting dish her family and friends really enjoyed.
She kindly shared her recipe, so I finally had a chance to try it out, and share it with you.
The preparation process might look involved, but it really isn’t bad.
The finished product looks impressive, especially before the stuffed cabbage head is cut up into serving sections.
### Please scroll down to the end of this post for a Printable Recipe ###
For your convenience and better understanding of some of the preparation steps in this recipe, I am posting few pictures.
Remove from heat, and submerge the cabbage in ice water for 15 minutes.
Gently unfold the leaves one by one, and spread them out to the side of the core.
Add oil to sauce pan, and saute the onions, carrots, and garlic.
In a large bowl, mix the meatloaf mix with the sauteed onions, salt and pepper, paprika, Italian Seasoning, chopped parsley, egg, water, and catchup.
Make a large ball (size of a tennis ball) of the prepared filling, and place it in the middle of the spread out cabbage leaves
Spread a generous amount of filling onto the second layer of leaves.
Repeat this process until all the leaves are used up.
Bring up all 4 corners of the cheesecloth, fit snugly around the stuffed cabbage head, and tie it all together at the top of the head.
Place the ball of cabbage in a medium pot, and it is ready to cook.
Bring to boil, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.
Ready to bake it now.
- 1 head white cabbage
- 1.5 lbs. meatloaf mix meat (pork, beef, veal)
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and shredded on a large eye grater
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbs. chopped Flat Leaf Italian Parsley
- 2 tsp. Paprika
- 1 Tbs. Italian Seasoning
- 1 whole egg
- 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup of water
- 2 Tbs. catchup
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 sheet of cheese cloth ( easily found at your grocer)
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1 can tomato paste
- 2 cubes beef bullion
- 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Fill a large pot 1/2 full with water.
- Add 1 Tbs. salt, and bring to boil.
- Remove one layer of the outer leaves from the head of cabbage and discard. Trim the end of the core, but do not carve it out.
- Place the head of cabbage into the boiling water (core down), and boil for 15 minutes.
- Turn the cabbage head with the core up, and boil 15 minutes longer.
- Remove from heat, and submerge the cabbage in ice water for 15 minutes.
- Save the cabbage water for later use.
- Gently trim off some of the thick rib of the cabbage, from the core upward, but make sure the leaves remains attached to the core.
- Gently unfold the leaves one by one, and spread them out to the side of the core. Don't worry if they split slightly; it will be fine once the head is reconstructed.
- Repeat this process until you have at least 3-4 layers of leaves.
- Cut out the middle portion of the remaining tightly folded leaves (save for later use)
- Set the cabbage leaves aside for now.
- Add oil to sauce pan, and heat it on medium heat.
- Add the chopped onions, and saute 5 minutes.
- Add shredded carrot and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add chopped garlic, and saute 1 minute longer.
- In a large bowl, mix the meatloaf mix with the sauteed onions, salt and pepper, paprika, Italian Seasoning, chopped parsley, egg, water, and catchup.
- Mix all to incorporate evenly.
- Spread the cheesecloth on a platter, and place the cabbage leaves over it.
- Make a large ball (size of a tennis ball) of the prepared filling, and place it in the middle of the spread out cabbage leaves.
- Bring up one layer of leaves, and fold over the filling ball, to enclose it.
- Spread a generous amount of filling onto the second layer of leaves.
- Fold them up towards the created filling ball, and carefully recreating the head of cabbage.
- Repeat this process until all the leaves are used up.
- Bring up all 4 corners of the cheesecloth, fit snugly around the stuffed cabbage head, and tie it all together at the top of the head.
- Place the ball of cabbage in a medium pot.
- Mix 5 cups of cabbage water with beef bullion.
- Mix in 1/2 of the tomato paste.
- Pour over the tied cabbage head.
- Add bay leaves, and more water if necessary, so at least 2/3 of the cabbage ball is submerged.
- Bring to boil, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.
- Remove cabbage head from the pot, and set on a serving platter. Remove and discard the cheesecloth.
- Carefully place the cabbage head in an oven proof casserole dish, and set aside.
- Heat the remaining liquid in the pot, and cook to reduce to about 2 cups.
- Mix flour with a small amount of cabbage liquid, to form a smooth paste.
- Mix in heavy cream, and remaining 1/2 of tomato paste.
- Pour this mixture into the cabbage water.
- Bring to boil and cook for few minutes to form a creamy sauce.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour sauce over the cabbage head.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and bake it uncovered for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven, and cut up into wedges (from middle top of the cabbage head toward the bottom).
- Serve it hot.