Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

hungarian cabbage roll
In Hungary, the stuffed cabbage is a typical feast (or rather Christmas) food and the main dish of the feast on or after  pig-killing day (disznótor). You may note that pork is one of the meat ingredients and so this really is a harvest festival food.

Smoked pork would even be better, but not translatable to Kosher Jewish tastes. It may even have evolved from the stuffed grape leaves roll that was brought into the country during the Ottoman occupation. That said the Chinese and Koreans have their own stuffed cabbage rolls. These are however very different.

 Large cabbage or two medium size ones
1 and 1/2 pounds of Ground beef and  pork – Chorizo like!
1/4 cups Long grain white rice
1/2 tsp.salt
To taste, 1/8tsp. pepper and 1/4 tsp. paprika
Red Hungarian Paprika – for color and taste. Smoked if you can get it!
3 Large fresh garlic cloves pressed or more if desired
2-3 Eggs, well beaten)
1 Onion – grated into the meat mixture
Some good smoked ham for a garnish.
One can of Sauerkraut – rinse before adding so it’s not too sour.
1 or 2 8 oz. cans of contadina tomato paste – mix both cans with enough water to cover entire pot of stuffed cabbage for cooking.
1. Core the cabbage and boil gently until tender enough to separate the leaves and boil them uncovered for 5 minutes or until soft enough to roll. Trim of the thick heavy part of each leaf. Dry and reserve liquid. Set aside while you:
2. Combine the meat, rice, spices, and eggs, mix well with your hands. Lay out a leaf of cabbage and center about 2 tablespoons of meat. Fold up sides and roll up ends to seal each roll. Continue with all the meat and cabbage. I generally hold the leaf in the palm of my hand and fill.
3. To fill the cast iron pot lay the stuffed cabbage on top of the sauerkraut and remaining center of the cabbage, chopped up. This will be your starting layer. Add another layer of chopped cabbage and sauerkraut on top of that, then another layer of stuffed cabbage. Keep going like this until you run out of stuffed cabbage, and add a final layer of chopped cabbage and sauerkraut on top.
4. Pour the the tomato sauce or diluted paste, some smoked pork (if you have it) and enough water to just cover the contents of the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat cover and simmer for one and half hour or until rice is tender.
5. Serve with sour cream.

What do you call an angry German.
“A Saurekraut.”






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