Monday, October 13, 2008


Last week my mother-in-law cooked up a batch of her famous stuffed cabbage rolls. Inspired by the gigantic cabbages available at our local farm stand, she took over kitchen duties on afternoon to whip up a batch of her families traditional Polish meal.

The halupkies were delicious. Each steamed cabbage leaf we rolled with a stuffing of ground beef, onions, and rice. The rolls were then placed on a bed of sauerkraut and slowly braised in a liquid consisting of tomato sauce and the leftover liquid from steaming the leaves.

The results were delicious. We ate them served over mashed potatoes, and then two days later finished the leftovers (which actually had gotten better) with a hearty brown bread.

1 cup brown rice
1 head cabbage
1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
1 egg
1 onion
1 12-ounce can sauerkraut
1 12-ounce can of pureed tomatoes
Salt and pepper

Cook one cup of brown rice according to package instructions. Let cool to the touch.

Cut out the core of the cabbage head and then place the whole head of cabbage in a pot with one inch of water. Cover and bring water to boil. Allow the cabbage to steam until the leavers are tender, about 20 minutes depending on the size of the head. Remove the cabbage from the pot and allow to cool. Reserve liquid.

Dice onion. Mix the ground beef or turkey with the cooked rice, onion, and salt and pepper.

When the cabbage is cool enough to handle, remove the leaves. Skim the thick vein from bottom each leaf. Place a quarter of a cup of the beef and rice mixture on the inside cup part of each leaf, on the remaining portion of the vein. Fold the top over the filling, fold the sides in, and then roll from top to bottom, creating a package.

Drain and rinse the can of sauerkraut. Place half on the bottom of a large pot along with half of the can of pureed tomatoes. Place half of the stuff cabbage leaves in the pot. Cover with the rest of the sauerkraut and tomatoes. Place the remaining cabbage rolls on top of the sauerkraut. Pour the reserved cabbage-steaming liquid over top of the leave. Use three of four leftover cabbage leaves to cover the contents of the pot.

Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for one hour, until the meat has cooked through.

Serve with mashed potatoes or brown bread.

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