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Stuffed Cabbage (Golubtsy) VII (M, TNT)
Source: "A Taste of Russia, A Cookbook of Russian Hospitality," by Darra Goldstein
Serves: 4

1 head white cabbage (about 2 pounds)
2 large onions coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 pound ground beef (or half ground beef and half ground veal)
3 tablespoons raw rice
1 large carrot scraped and grated
1 large clove garlic crushed
1/4 teaspoon crushed fennel seed
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste (use liberally)
1 large egg beaten
2 pounds ripe tomatoes peeled and cut into chunks OR 1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes drained
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Core the cabbage. Blanch it in boiling water for about 5 minutes. Remove from the pot and gently peel off the outer leaves. If the inner leaves are still too stiff to be removed, return the cabbage to the boiling water for another minute or so. Continue until all the leaves have been removed. Use the small inner leaves or any damaged ones to line the bottom and sides of a 3-quart Dutch oven. Reserve the cooking liquid.

To prepare the onions, mix the onions with the olive oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan. Pour over enough of the hot water from the cabbage pot to just cover the onions. Bring to a boil and simmer slowly, uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the water has evaporated and the onions are golden. Stir occasionally to make sure the onions don't stick to the pan.

While the onions are simmering, prepare the filling. In a large bowl thoroughly mix together the ground beef, raw rice, carrot, garlic, fennel, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir in the egg, blending well.

Now, starting with the largest leaves, take a cabbage leaf and place a mound of the filling along the center. Tuck up the bottom edge of the leaf first, then roll and tuck until the filling is completely enclose in the leaf. Continue until all the filling has been used. There will be about 12 rolls.

Place half the rolls in the cabbage-lined pot in a single layer. Cover with half of the prepared onions, then top with the remaining cabbage rolls and the rest of the onions.

In a medium-sized saucepan heat the tomatoes, pressing with the back of a spoon until they begin to give off juice. Stir in the lemon juice, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil. Pour over the cabbage rolls. The chunks of tomato will form a layer on top. Cover the pot and simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Poster's Notes:
These cabbage rolls are even better reheated the second day.

Posted by Nancy Berry

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A