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Stuffed cabbage rolls

March 24, 2013

I was a little worried about this one. I’ve never made these before, but I found a couple recipes that looked pretty tasty, so I decided to give them a try. Mike was pretty nervous, new recipes scare him. Like I’ve said before he would eat the same pizza and tacos everyday of the week if he had his own way. I’m just doing my best to expand his horizons. Well let me just say, horizons expanded.

Also, after reading Rosie’s article I wanted to start trying some Czech recipes. I’m not sure this one is considered traditional Czech food, but it’s a step in the right direction.

I combined two different recipes to make my own, using this Tyler Florence recipe and this Smitten Kitchen recipe. Below is what I did:


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 16 oz tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 carrots, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Splash dry red wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup brown rice (I used the pre-cooked organic frozen rice from Trader Joe’s, best invention ever)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 head green cabbage, about 2 pounds

I made the sauce first by cooking the garlic in olive oil for about a minute and then added the remaining ingredients and simmered for about 10-15 minutes.

For the rolls, mince onion, carrot and garlic and sauteed until soft, about 10 minutes. After the veggies were soft, add the seasonings, wine and tomato sauce and cook down for a few minutes and remove from the heat. Once that cools, combine veggie mixture, meat, egg and rice.

Now for the tricky part, removing cabbage leaves and boiling them without totally destroying them. Cut a ring around the core and start peeling back the leaves very carefullyl, I got about 8 leaves that were worth using. Boil those for about 5 mintues and then move to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Lay out the cabbage and roll the filling into little footballs and roll up the cabbage around the filling. Pour about half of the sauce into a cast iron pan, put the rolls in and cover with the remainder. Top the pan with tinfoil and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Mike said they were good, but he would probably be ok if I never made them again. I really liked them and will be eating the leftovers for a couple days, with is perfectly fine with me.


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One Comment
  1. Rose K. Kodet permalink

    Carly, I am not sure this is a Czech recipe because it doesn’t have any lard in it but your Great Aunt Doris and your Grandpa Gilbert would be s-o-o-o-o proud of you for trying this. Doris made very good cabbage rolls and I recall they were a lot of work.

    I will look through some of Doris’ and your Great Grandmother Rose’s recipes to see if I can find some Czech things for you to try.

    By the way, I absolutely love your site – and know that I would like it even if we weren’t related!


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