Stuffed cabbage is great reheated—so there’s no need to make it fresh.
2 medium-sized heads green cabbage
for the filling:
1/2 cup rice
2-2 ½ pounds ground beef
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup ketchup or barbecue sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed
for the sauce:
2 large onions, sliced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 jar sour kraut
2 16 ounce cans tomato sauce
16 oz water
1 cup sugar (less or more to taste)
2 bay leaves
prepare the cabbage:
Freeze whole cabbage heads for 3 days. Remove from the freezer and defrost in the refrigerator; allowing 24 hours to completely thaw. Carefully remove the dark green outer leaves from each head and discard. Separate the remaining leaves and place in a large bowl of water with vinegar added. Allow to soak for 1 hour then carefully pour off the water and check the leaves. Set aside approximately 24 large leaves and shred the rest of the leaves with a mandoline or slicer. Set aside.
If the rib on each large leaf is still tough, trim through the thickness with a paring knife, being careful not to cut through the leaf.
prepare the filling:
Bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. When it’s boiling, add the rice and simmer 5 minutes. Turn off the flame and allow the rice to rest, covered until all the water is absorbed. Set aside.
Saute the diced onions until translucent. Place the ground beef in a bowl and add the onions, rice, eggs, garlic and
ketchup. Season to taste with salt and fresh pepper. Mix just until combined. Don’t over mix or the meat will be tough.
In a 6 or 8 quart pot, sauté the sliced onions until just translucent. Holding a cabbage leaf in your hand place approximately 2 tablespoons of meat over the rib and roll up the leaf to enclose the meat. As you roll, tuck in the ends to keep the filling in place.
Place in the pot with the sautéed onions, seam side down. Continue making cabbage rolls until all the leaves are used. Layer the rolls in your pot with the extra shredded cabbage and the sour kraut from the jar.
Pour in the tomato sauce and water. Add sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Add the bay leaves and cook over low heat for 2 hours adding water if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning.