Hello, this is my first post here. I have read a posts here and it seems the readers here are very informed.
My great grandmother (who passed away in 1999) came to Canada from Hungary and always cooked the most amazing goulash and stuffed cabbage. I haven't actually tried stuffed cabbage anywhere else but judging by some of the recipes on the Internet, I think she cooked it like most others do.
I fabricated a recipe from over 10 different Hungarian recipes I found on the Internet and cooked it my first time last week. It tasted very bland! I just tried again today with a bit more success but still isn't as good.
- 50/50 ground beef, ground pork
- 2 cloves of garlic
- salt, black pepper
- hungarian paprika
- some olive oil
- 1 yellow onion
- basmati rice
- 1 32oz can of peeled plum tomatoes (had seeds in it to) that I chopped to pieces
- some water (perhaps too much? I put enough to cover all the cabbage rolls
- julienned carrots
- chopped cabbage
- salt/black pepper
- hungarian paprika
I put chopped cabbage and carrots as the first layer and half the tomatoes, then filled with rolls, then another layer of cabbage and carrot, etc.. then added water to cover the whole thing.
I simmered it for 2 hours and everything was cooked.
Not sure what I'm missing, but it DOES taste better a day or two after it's been refrigerated. Not really sure if I'm missing any herbs for the filling? The filling actually tastes OK (could be better though) but the gravy is quite bland. Maybe parsley would help? My aunt says she puts pork seasoning in it too which gives it a nice flavor.
I heard some people use V-8 juice for the gravy also, not sure if that makes a difference. I know V-8 on its own is more flavorful than the juice from canned tomatoes.
I also found out that she always cooked it in the oven rather than on the stove top. I also heard that she partially cooks the rice beforehand. Maybe, she cooks it at a lower temperature in the oven for longer?
Anyone have any suggestions? Also, any ideas on whether it's good to use a pressure cooker and if it will turn out right?
I may be overcooking it, so I will use a meat thermometer next time to probe the rolls and see when they are done. Also, there is a Hungarian store in the Upper East Side in NY that imports Hungarian paprika. Maybe the kind I have isn't good quality.
Although I know a lot of different countries have their own version of stuffed cabbage, I'm really only interested in the hungarian variety for now. Thanks in advance!