Cook Lithuanian Stuffed Cabbage
Edited by Timbuktu, Ephraim, Rebecca M., Nerissa Avisado and 4 others
Stuffed cabbage is a favorite dish in many parts of Eastern Europe. Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Russia, and Hungary (to name a few), all have their own versions of this hearty dish. In most cuisines, this dish is made with ground or minced beef or pork, finely chopped onions, and barley or rice. The fist-sized cabbage rolls are then baked with tomato sauce in a casserole.
A Bit More About Cabbage Rolls and Culture
In many places stuffed cabbage is considered a festive food and is served at Christmas dinners, weddings, and family reunions. Jewish Europeans traditionally serve cabbage rolls on Simchat Torah, a holiday during which Torah scrolls are taken out of the ark and read amid dancing and celebratory singing. The rolls are served with a sauce made from tomatoes and arranged side by side in pairs so that they look like scrolls.
This dish is generally served warm with a complementary sauce. In Sweden and Finland, it is served with an accompaniment of sweet and tart lingonberry jam, while in Lebanon, the cigar-sized rolls are served with yogurt, a garlic flavored olive oil and mint vinaigrette. The rolls are also sometimes stuffed with lamb, eggs, mushrooms, and vegetables. In some Asian cuisines, cabbage rolls are prepared with tofu, shitake, and chopped water chestnuts.
How To Make Cabbage Rolls
- 1 whole cabbage (a 4-pound cabbage with loosely packed leaves may be easiest to use)
- 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 large carrot, minced
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 cup finely chopped celery
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 large beaten egg
- Pinch marjoram
- 1 bay leaf
Meat Filling Ingredients
- 500 g or 2.1 cups ground meat (beef or pork)
- 1/2 cup rice
- Salt and pepper
- Kucharek seasoning to taste (a seasoning made from various spices and dried vegetables)
- 8Place about 1/2 cup of stuffing at the center of leaf. Take the part of the leaf nearest you, and fold over the stuffing away from you to cover the meat. Take the right side of the leaf and flip it to the center. Do the same thing with the left side. Your roll will now resemble a packet. Roll over away from you once more to create a nice fat roll. It's kind of like wrapping a sandwich in wax paper.
There several ways you can vary this recipe. Follow the recipe, but add your own flavors or touches.
Tips, Tricks and Warnings
- Remember the cabbage lining. Do not neglect to put a good layer of chopped cabbage at the bottom of the casserole you will be cooking the cabbage rolls in. This will prevent them from burning during the long cooking process.
- Cabbage rolls keep well. You can keep them in the refrigerator for two days or freeze them for a week.
- These are good with either mashed potatoes or noodles. They are also good with warm, crusty bread.
- They make delicious appetizers. Make them in small sausage shapes, cook them until they are on the dry side, and serve as a hearty appetizer.