Stuffed Cabbage (Halupki)



1. Place the cabbage in a stockpot with enough water to cover.

2. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt to the water and cabbage.

3. Bring water to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn cabbage every 2-3 minutes and remove leaves that separate from cabbage and place in a strainer to cool. Boil until all the leaves have cooked, about 15 minutes.

4. Reserve 12 oz. of cabbage water.

5. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

6. Trim thick center vein off of bottom of each cabbage leaf.

7. In a large bowl thoroughly mix together, ground beef, ground pork, rice, chopped onion, fresh parsley, egg, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

8. Lightly pack a small amount of meat mixture and place in the center of the cabbage leaf.

9. Fold sides over the filling and start at the stem and roll the cabbage up until the meat is encased. Repeat with remaining leaves and filling.

10. Cut the leftover leaves into pieces and place into the bottom of a roasting pan.

11. Layer the stuffed cabbage rolls over the cut leaves.

12. In a bowl, mix the tomato sauce, reserved cabbage water, white vinegar, and white sugar.

13. Pour the tomato sauce mixture over the cabbage rolls.

14. Cover roasting pan with aluminum foil.

15. Bake in preheated oven until the ground beef mixture is no longer pink in the center, about 2 1/2 hours. Baste stuffed cabbage rolls every hour.

Cook's Note:
I use Uncle Ben's ® Ready Rice, which is done in 90 seconds in the microwave, to cut down on prep time. Leftovers freeze well…that is, if you have any!

For the 1 1/2 cups cooked rice in this recipe, cook 1/2 cup long grain white rice in 3/4 cup water (simmer, covered, for 20 minutes)--or make a larger batch and use leftovers for fried rice or rice pudding.