Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pork Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Pork Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Can be prepared in 1 1/2 hours.

My old neighborhood in San Francisco used to have a fabulous Hungarian restaurant where I loved to go for pork stuffed cabbage rolls. The restaurant has since gone out of business, but my love for the dish remains. We made these cabbage rolls again this weekend, for Some Pig Blogging Weekend, a food blogging event in honor of San Antonio Abate, the Patron Saint of farmyard animals, who's feast day is January 17th.

2 lbs sauerkraut
1 large head green cabbage
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onions
1/4 tsp of finely chopped garlic
1 lb ground lean pork
1/4 cup rice, cooked in boiling salted water (yielding 3/4 cup cooked)
2 lightly beaten eggs
2 tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika
1/8 tsp marjoram
1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
1 cup water mixed with 1 cup tomato puree
1 cup sour cream

1 Wash the sauerkraut in cold water, then soak in cold water 10-20 minutes to reduce sourness. (Make sure you don't skip this step!) Squeeze dry and set aside. In a large saucepan, bring to a boil enough salted water to cover the cabbage. Add the cabbage, turn the heat to low and simmer 8 minutes. Remove the cabbage and let it drain while it cools enough to handle. Pull off 16 large unbroken leaves and lay them on paper towels to drain and cool further.

2 In a 10-inch skillet, saute the onions and garlic in olive oil, until the onions are lightly colored. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pork, rice, eggs, paprika, marjoram, the onion-garlic mixture, salt and a few grindings of black pepper. Mix well with a fork or wooden spoon.

3 Place 2 tablespoons of the stuffing in the center of one of the wilted cabbage leaves and, beginning with the thick end of the leaf, fold over the sides, then roll the whole leaf tightly, as you would a small bundle. Repeat with more leaves until all the stuffing has been used.

4 Spread the sauerkraut on the bottom of a 5-quart casserole and arrange the cabbage rolls on top of it. Add the water mixed with the tomato puree. Bring the liquid to a boil, then cover the pan tightly and cook the stuffed cabbage over low heat for 1 hour. Transfer the rolls from the casserole to a warm plate. Stir in the sour cream to the sauerkraut. Simmer another 5 minutes. Lift the sauerkraut onto a serving platter with a slotted spoon. Arrange the cabbage rolls on the sauerkraut and pour some of the sauce over them. Serve the rest of the sauce in a sauceboat.

Serves 4-6.

Dan's note: The sour cream is unnecessary. It can be hard to get enough big enough cabbage leaves, so make sure to put a big spoonful in each one. Other than that, I'm a fan.

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