Big Joe’s Stuffed Cabbage [Recipe]
Happy St. Patrick's Day weekend! If you missed my last two weekends of recipes you may want to try one of those instead. However, if you've already had your fill of traditional Irish fare, here's a tasty recipe you might find helpful. If you're like me, you may find yourself with some leftover cabbage this weekend that didn't get cooked. This recipe is a great way to use it all up and not let anything go to waste.
When I was in 7th and 8th grade I was hanging around my friend, Mark Pilarski. Frequently his mom would ask me to stay over for dinner and I of course, always said yes.
Mr. & Mrs. Pilarski were of Polish descent, and Mrs. Pilarski would make the best stuffed cabbage. She made it quite often. Even in the summer when the temperatures hovered around 95 degrees, her oven would be going on 350-400 degrees, no air conditioning and out came this great dish. Although the kitchen and house had to be 2,000 degrees, Mrs. Pilarski always looked like she walked out of Good Housekeeping magazine.
When I saw this recipe that was sent in by Maryan Hartnett of Smithville, it took me back to that very satisfying meal, which was served frequently at the Pilarskis' home, at their daughter’s wedding and at all the major family functions. I had the opportunity to taste Maryan’s dish and it was just as good as I remember. Thanks, Maryan, for taking me back to a nice place with a terrific dish.
1 ½ lbs. of meatloaf mix (ground beef, veal and pork)
1 two cup package of Uncle Ben's boil in rice
2 cans of chicken broth
1 medium to large cabbage
1 green pepper
1 clove of garlic (more if desired)
2 medium onions (1 finely diced, 1 sliced)
2 slightly beaten eggs
1 15 oz. can Campbell’s tomato soups
1 tablespoon of sour cream
Salt & pepper to taste
How to put it together:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook rice in 1 can of broth. After cooking set aside to cool.
With a paring knife, take the core out of the cabbage. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Put the whole head of cabbage in the water and peel outer leaves as they soften (not too soft or they will tear) Cool, and trim rib of cabbage to make the cabbage more pliable.
In a large bowl, mix onions, eggs, salt & pepper and cooled rice into meat. Gently mix thoroughly, trying not to squash the rice. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, put tomato soup, the other can of broth, and sliced onion. Stir, add sour cream. Put a small handful of the meat mixture into the rib end of the leaf of cabbage. Roll one and tuck the sides in and continue to roll to the end. Place on sheet pan. Continue until all the meat is used. There will be some cabbage that has ripped or is too small and not suitable for stuffing so set aside.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, put those discarded cabbage leaves on the bottom of the pot as a bed for the stuffed cabbage. This is so they do not burn on the bottom. Slice top off green pepper and remove seeds. Stuff pepper with left over meat mixture and place in the middle of the Dutch oven of stuffed cabbage for additional flavor. Alternate layers of stuffed cabbage with tomato liquid. Cover and cook in the oven at 350 degrees or on top of stove medium low heat for 1 ½ - 2 hours, depending on how many layers you have made.
Serve with mashed potatoes. Sit back and enjoy the food and praises.