Grandma Gertrude Tobey's Stuffed Cabbage
I gave out a recipe for stuffed cabbage a couple of months ago from memory. Since then, I've discussed the recipe with my mom and she reminded me that my Grandma Gertrude actually used V-8 juice and not tomato sauce. I made it today and it was so very good, and easy - so here you go...
Cook a cup of raw long grain white rice in 2 cups water and salt to taste.
Mix the cooled rice with: 1# best quality fresh ground beef (I prefer Niman Ranch), #1 ground turkey (not breast meat), finely minced medium size raw onion.
For the sauce: In a big stock pot or dutch oven mix: large can or jar low sodium V-8 juice, 1 tsp celery salt (omit if using salted V-8), juice of 1/2 large lemon, 1T sugar, 1 tsp. paprika.
For the cabbage: You'll need a big one. Cut out the core and boil covered, waist high in water for about 10 minutes. Remove and cool under running water. Remove the leaves into a colander until you reach leaves that aren't yet pliable. Boil for another 10 minutes until this smaller part is pliable. When you've got all the leaves in the colander and the water shaken off, you're ready to assemble.
I like to work on newspaper to absorb the extra water. Rather than placing the rolls right into the sauce as you work, pile them on a plate, just in case you wildly miscalculate and wind up with a lot of extra leaves or filling, you can back up and re-distribute. You'll have some extra cabbage no matter what, as some leaves are too small to roll. You can chop and add to the sauce, or reserve for another use. Place about an egg sized amount of filling in the stem end of the leaf and press of form a rough rectangle, fold the sides in and roll up. Always place rolls seam side down - important as this holds them together as they cook. Fill your pot rather tightly. When done press down so the sauce covers the rolls. They'll float a bit - you don't want them to rest on bottom anyway, to prevent burning. Cover. Set on a high flame just until boiling. Turn down to medium low for 20 minutes. Allow to cool about 10 minutes before serving.
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