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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Cabbage Rolls

Cabbage rolls ready for oven.
     
    My knowledge of Irish food is limited to soda bread, Bangers and Mashed, varieties of potatoes, stews and Baileys Irish Cream. Usually for each New Year's and St. Pat's day, I faithfully plop a corned beef brisket in the slow cooker with cabbage, potatoes and carrots, and then call it a holiday meal done.

   This year I thought I'd take a lesson from one of my best friends who makes cabbage rolls. "It's easy," she said. "You just take a wad of hamburger (mixed with rice, about the size of a tangerine) and roll it in a cabbage leaf, then cover it in tomato juice and bake it."


    Well, that's the short version. Yes, those are the steps, but while making this dish it reminded me of why I only make a lasagna a few times year, despite the fact that I love it. There are steps and more steps before you pop it in the oven.


Despite the steps, it's a very nice dish. They're hearty little meals in a packet.


 Cabbage Rolls
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup rice (long grain white, uncooked)

1 small onion, diced
2 cups tomato juice or V8, divided
1 head cabbage
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 T.  (splash) Worcestershire sauce

In large pot, fill with water half way and bring to a boil.
Cut center core out of cabbage. Drop in boiling water.
Cover and let boil for 10-15 minutes until outer leaves are soft and fall away.

While cabbage is cooking, in a medium bowl combine meat, rice, spices, Worcestershire and half cup tomato juice. Set aside in refrigerator until needed.

With tongs or slotted spoon remove cabbage to plate to cool for easier handling. Drain excess liquid.

Spray coat a 13x9x2 inch baking dish.
Preheat oven to 350.

Carefully remove outer leaves and set aside to cool. Pull remaining leaves apart leaving core and smallest leaves.

Remove meat mixture from refrigerator and begin shaping into balls about 2 inches wide (like a large golf ball). Put each on plate and keep rolling.

Count cabbage leave and meat balls to make sure you have an even amount. (I made smaller balls for smaller leaves and had a total of 12.

Pour 1/2 cup tomato juice into bottom of baking dish. Layer extra cabbage leaves along bottom.

Place one meatball into center of cabbage leave, wrap bottom of leaf upwards first and fold other edges over. Secure with toothpick if desired.
Put cabbage rolls in casserole dish and pour 1 cup tomato juice over top.

Cover casserole with foil and bake for 1.5 hours. Remove from oven and let set. Watch for steam when uncovering.

Serves 6, 2 rolls each.


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