I’ve been wanting to make cabbage rolls for awhile. One of those old comfort foods. So when a friend from back in Edmonton came to visit, she agreed to be my guinea pig and I made my first batch. I was actually inspired after watching an episode of Triple D. It featured a Jewish deli that made a rice free cabbage roll. What crazy deliciousness was this?!
Of course they had to ruin it and put some kind of sweet raisin sauce on it.
So when I made mine, I took the inspiration of the rice’less meat center and a tomato based Ukrainian style cabbage roll. And low carb. Picking the crushed tomatoes with the lowest carb / sugar ratings, not using the carb laden soups, no rice, etc. etc. The rolls got a thumbs up from friend and hubby, and I ate more than I should have probably.
Note: next time I’m going to add some cheese I think. In and on top. Thinking maybe an asiago or parmesan. Something sharp.
- 1 head of green cabbage
- 1 lb italian sausage meat
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 2 onions rough chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano
- 2 leaves of basil
- 1/2 tbsp dried basil
- 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp concentrated tomato paste
- 2 c tomato juice
Prep the cabbage
- Remove the core of the cabbage and set in boiling water for 14-16 minutes until the leaves are soft. As you peel the leaves off, you may have to pop the head back into boiling water to soften the leaves.
- Once softened, remove the head and place in an ice bath
The meat mix
- Put onion and herbs in a food processor and chop fine
- Put all ingredients (EXCEPT the tomato juice) in a large bowl and mix
- In a large dutch oven, put a scoop of the sauce on the bottom.
- Place a couple leaves on top of the sauce, add another scoop of sauce on top of the leaves
- Remove the hard spine from a leaf and somewhat overlap the cut edges
- Depending on the size of the leaf, put about 1/4 - 1/2 c of meat mix on top of the cut edge fold
- Fold sides of leaf over meat, the one edge, and roll
- Place seam side down in the dutch oven
- I had 2 layers of the rolls and put a layer of sauce between them
- Cover with a layer sauce, gently pour tomato juice around edges
- Put cover on dutch oven
- Bake for 2 hours at 325F
Due to a combination of having no rice to soak up the juice, the watery cabbage, and in a small container, it was very juicy. It tasted just like a flattened cabbage roll, but was swimming in liquid. I drained off the watery juice and baked for another half hour and it turned out fine.