Home Grown Cabbage becomes . . . Stuffed Cabbage

Cabbage rolls simmering in tomatoes and tomato juice -- in a Dutch oven on the stovetop.
Lid is removed here but I did cook them with the lid on.
     Wow, I’m so impressed with Barry’s garden. Despite the heat, green plants are everywhere and yielding an abundance of fresh vegetables. We just step outside and pull onions, clip kale of cut off a head of cabbage! 
     Sometimes I even begin to wonder what I’ll do with all the “stuff”, but ever since I saw the cabbage heads begin to form, I knew I'd be making stuffed cabbage.
     I first tasted those delicacies in the early 1970s when helping a neighbor with a garage sale. We spent the morning on her porch tending to the sale while inside a pot of stuffed cabbages simmered on the stove. The aroma eventually drifted to the porch and by lunch time my mouth was watering. It took just one bite and I knew I would make them again and again.
      As for garage sales . . . I’ve had a few more since then,  but I’d be quite happy to never have another!

Stuffed Cabbage
2 medium heats of cabbage
1 medium onion, chopped
2 to 3 slices of bacon
2 cups ground sausage, ground pork or ground beef (or use a mixture) – RAW
2 cup cooked rice
1 teaspoon salt
½ to ¾ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
About 4 cups crushed tomatoes (canned or fresh that have been blanched & chopped)
Tomato juice – enough to half way cover the cabbage rolls as they cook
Barry uses a paring knife to remove
the cabbage's core.
Chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, oregano & basil, optional

1.  Core cabbage.
2.  Drop into boiling water to blanch – it should cook look enough that the leaves are pliable. Remove cabbage and immerse in cold water to stop the cooking. Remove leaves (if inner leaves are not as pliable as outer, return cabbage to hot water for further blanching).
3.  Using a paring knife, cut out the tough stem of each cabbage leaf. The inner portion of the cabbage will not yield leaves that are big enough to roll — chop these up and place in an oblong baking dish that has been sprayed or into a sprayed Dutch oven (I just used the same Dutch oven that I  used to brown the onions in step #4)
Use a paring knife to cut out the stem  of the blanched cabbage leaf;
 it is somewhat tough, even after blanching, and would make it hard to roll the cabbage leaf.
Inner leaves, that are too small for rolling, are chopped &
will be used as a "bed" for the cabbage rolls.
4.  Brown onion with bacon; cool slightly.
5.  In a large bowl, combine and mix all ingredients except leaves, tomatoes and tomato juice and optional chopped fresh herbs.
6.  Place about ½ cup of mixture in the center of a cabbage roll, roll up and arrange on the bed of chopped cabbage in the casserole or Dutch oven, seal side down.
Add a scoop of filling to the blanched cabbage leaf & roll up.
Place cabbage rolls, sealed side down, on the bed of chopped cabbage.
7.  Pour tomatoes over cabbage rolls; add tomato juice until rolls are about half covered. Sprinkle with chopped herbs if desired.
8.  Cover casserole tightly with foil and bake 1½ to 2 hours at 375°. Or, place the covered Dutch oven on the stovetop, bring mixture to a boil and then simmer for 1½ to 2 hours. Check periodically and add more tomato juice or water if liquid gets too low.
We served the cabbage rolls with tender west corn. Yum!

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