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Braised Cabbage Rolls
This one-pot dinner is definitely a “Grandmamma” recipe. It takes a little time but will transport you to an “old-timey” place of comfort and warmth. Thanks Grandma!
~1 hour, 15 minutes
1-3 lb. head of Savoy or regular cabbage
2 cups of water
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 lb. ground beef
½ lb. ground pork
½ lb. ground lamb
½ cup uncooked long grain brown rice
½ sweet onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
2 teaspoons toasted caraway seeds
Freshly ground black pepper
28 oz. can San Marzano whole tomatoes (puree in food mill or processor)
2 cups low sodium, bottled vegetable juice
1½ cups of water
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Wash and core the head of cabbage leaving the rest of the head intact.
Place 2-cups of water and ½ teaspoon kosher salt in the 360 by Americraft 8-quart stockpot. Place the cabbage, core side down in the stockpot. Cover the pot with the lid.
Cook over medium heat just until vapor begins to escape from under the lid. (Approximately 5 minutes) Spin the lid to engage the vapor seal. Immediately reduce the heat to low. Cook for 7-8 minutes
Remove lid. Gently peel back leaves from cabbage head using tongs. Leaves should separate easily. Use care not to tear the cabbage leaves. (These are your meat filling wrappers.) Place each leaf in a colander to cool. (You should be able to get 16-20 leaves.) Remove remainder of cabbage head to cool.
Reserve 1 ½ cups of the cabbage liquid. Return the liquid to the empty stockpot and add ½ cup uncooked long grain brown rice. Stir once. Replace the lid.
Cook the rice on medium heat just until steam begins to escape from under the lid.
(3-5 minutes) Spin the lid to engage the vapor seal. Immediately reduce the heat to low. Cook the rice about 40 minutes; rice should be tender.
Remove the pan from the heat. If there’s any excess liquid, pour the rice through a strainer. Transfer rice to a bowl to cool. .
Combine beef, pork, lamb, cooled rice, onion, garlic, and toasted caraway seeds. Season the mixture with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Trim tough center stem from each cabbage leaf.
Slice thinly the remaining cabbage head. Line the bottom of the 360 by Americraft
8-quart stockpot with the sliced cabbage.
Assemble rolls by laying the cabbage leaves out flat. Place 2 Tablespoons of meat mixture at the bottom of each leaf. Fold the bottom sides of the cabbage over the meat. Roll up and fold sides of leaf inward. Continue to roll up entire cabbage leaf to make a little bundle. (Like a burrito)
Stack all your cabbage bundles, seam side down in the stockpot on top of the sliced cabbage.
Mix together in a large bowl, the pureed tomatoes, vegetable juice, water, sugars, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Carefully pour liquid over cabbage bundles.
Invert a heatproof plate as a weight on top of the bundles. (This should prevent them from coming unraveled during the cooking process.)
Cover the pot with the lid. Cook over medium heat just until steam begins to escape from under the lid. (Approximately 20 minutes) Spin the lid to engage the vapor seal. Immediately reduce the heat to low. Cook the cabbage rolls for 30 minutes.
Remove the lid. Return the heat to medium. Allow the pot to simmer to reduce the amount of liquid and thicken the sauce. (45 minutes-1 hour)
Carefully remove hot plate. (Use tongs to lift the edge of the plate then remove plate wearing waterproof oven mitts.)
Serve with German spaetzel or mashed potatoes, and roasted fall root vegetables.
**Timesaver Tip: While your rice is cooking you can get your cabbage, onion, and garlic chopped. There’s even time to combine the tomato sauce ingredients.