Italian Stuffed Cabbage

  • 1 large head of green cabbage
  • 1 1/2 lbs of meatloaf mix (beef, veal, pork) ground
  • 3/4 cup uncooked white long grain rice
  • 1 stick butter, salted and MELTED
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced into rings
  • 1 egg
  • 4 cloves garlic (or 4 frozen garlic cubes)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • sprinkle of cayenne pepper
  • dash of paprika
  • 1 quart chicken or beef broth
  • 1 cup of broth from a can of tomatoes
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (28oz)
Oven at 350 degrees F (cook time: 2 hours)

Take the cabbage head and core the center pretty deep into the head. Fill a deep dutch oven with water and submerge the cabbage head. As the water gets hot and/ or boils, the leaves will come off one by one. As they do, gently remove with tongs without ripping the leaves. You want about 15 leaves like this.

As you pile the leaves up, cut out the stalky part for easier rolling. Once you have 15 leaves, set aside.

In a big bowl, combine the meat, rice, melted butter, parsley, egg, garlic, salt, worcestershire, pepper, cayenne, and paprika. Mix well.

Take a handful of meat and shape into a small log. Place on a cabbage leaf and roll like a wrap, tucking in the sides as you roll. Do this until all meat is gone. It should make 10-12 rolls with 4-5 leaves left over.

In a cast iron dutch oven, line the bottom with some cabbage leaves. Add a layer of onion. add 1/2 the tomatoes. Place the rolls in a row, and sides. Add some extra cabbage pieces to fill in the gaps. you want a tight fit.

Add another layer of cabbage leaves. Another layer of onion, and the other half of tomatoes. Add the rest of the rolls and fill in gaps again with more cabbage. 
Pour the chicken broth in, just to cover. Add the cup of tomato broth. Top with more flat cabbage leaves and put the lid on. Make sure you have about an 1 1/2 of room at the top of your pot, because the rice will expand and make the rolls bigger.

To be safe, place a piece of foil under your pot in the oven for drippage.

Place in a 350 oven for 1 hour, then check. Press the cabbage down. If it is dry, add more stock. Let it cook for another hour.

When done, let cool for a good 1/2 hour. You can't really taste these when they are piping hot.

This is a full course meal in itself! Great for fall. Very heart-warming.