Please Note: This recipe works best in a well-seasoned clay pot (if unglazed) or a German-made Glazed Romertopf. The tomato sauce will stick to new unglazed clay pots and may be difficult to clean. Covering the rolls with a piece of parchment will prevent splattering on the lid.
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 lb. ground beef (*or 1 lb. ground beef if not using ground pork below)
1/2 lb. ground pork*
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1 clove garlic, finely chopped (approximately 1 tsp)
1 cup cooked white or brown rice
salt & pepper to taste
1 head cabbage
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 10 3/4 oz. can condensed tomato soup
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
2 Tbl. tomato paste
1-3 Tbl. brown sugar
splash of worchestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
Cut out core of cabbage or deeply cut around the core.
There are two ways you can get the cabbage leaves for the rolls. The 1st way is the easiest, however, if you prefer to use the rest of the cabbage for another dish (i.e. coleslaw), then the 2nd way is to remove the leaves before boiling.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Choose a method below for cooking your cabbage leaves. You will need about 12-16 leaves for this recipe (depending on size of leaves).
1) Boil the whole cabbage in a large pot of water. The leaves will separate from the head and you can remove them as they separate. Place on large baking sheet to cool.
2) Gently remove each cabbage leaf from the head, trying to keep them as much in tack as possible. Boil in water until slightly limp, remove and place on large baking sheet to cool.
Meanwhile, mix all ingredients for cabbage rolls (through salt & pepper) and stir well or mush with hands to thoroughly combine ingredients.
Combine sauce ingredients. (Use 1 to 3 Tablespoons of brown sugar to your taste.)
Add about 1/4 cup of tomato sauce mixture to the ground beef mixture. Stir well.
Pour 1/3 tomato sauce mixture in bottom of clay baker. Put about 1/4 cup beef mixture in cooled cabbage leaf (depending on the size of the leaf, you may need more or less beef mixture). Roll up and place seam-side down over sauce in baker. Place each roll next to the other, side by side, creating 1 single layer. Pour about 1/2 of the remaining sauce over first layer. Repeat process creating a second layer and pour remaining tomato sauce evenly over top of last layer.
Place lid on baker and put in COLD oven. Set temperature to 425°F. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let sit 10-15 minutes for the sauce to thicken.