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Stuffed Cabbage (Praakes) III (M, KLP, TNT)
Source: Rose Sobel as remembered by Judith Sobel
Serves: 8

3 pounds flanken (short ribs)
3 pounds lean ground beef
3 large onions, sliced
1 tablespoons garlic powder
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon pepper
2 large heads of cabbage
1 large can of tomato paste
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoon sour salt (citric acid)

Put cabbage in plastic bags and put in the freezer overnight. Take out several hours before using. Cabbage will wilt and it will be easier to roll. Leaves will not need to be cooked or steamed in advance. Take off the dark green leaves from both heads. Use the rest for other cabbage dishes (cole slaw or steamed cabbage). Turn leaves over and carefully slice the thick vein parallel to the leaf. Again, this makes the leaves more flexible and easier to use.

In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, brown the flanken on a low light.

Mix the ground beef with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Take about 1/4 cup and roll it into an oval. Place in the middle of the leaf and fold over sides of leaf. Bring up the bottom of the leaf and roll up very tightly. If you have sliced off the vein, you will not need string or toothpicks to hold it together.

Place in layer over the flanken. When you have a tightly packed layer, add 1/3 of the sliced onions, and 1/3 of the tomato paste. Repeat until cabbage leaves are used up. You should have leftover beef. Make small meatballs and add to pot. End with the onions and tomato paste. Add a cup of hot water. Sprinkle with sugar and sour salt, cover pan and simmer on low heat for 1-1/2 hours or until everything is cooked and tender.

Remove the cabbage and meatballs to a serving dish (or a freezer safe container.) Take bones out of the flanken and discard. Cut meat into serving size pieces, trim off any fat and add to cabbage rolls. Taste the sauce and adjust with either sugar or sour salt. Add sour salt sparingly. Pour over cabbage and either freeze or serve. I like to freeze it first so I can defat it.

Poster's Notes:
I made the sauce with the flanken in advance for Passover. Instead of using cabbage, I stuffed grape leaves and served it as an appetizer. It was really a big hit. Leftover sauce can be frozen and used for meatballs or even chicken fricassee. It is necessary to experiment with the sugar and sour salt to get just the right taste. Go easy on the sour salt!

Posted by Judith Sobel

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A