Search This Blog

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Caramelized Cabbage Rolls

We've absolutely loved our new CSA.  We've gotten really nice produce this year.  Two weeks running I got what I assumed to be a few collard green leaves.  I confess I've never seen them in their fresh form so off to the internet I went.  I'd had the caramelized cabbage rolls from Heartland on the make now list for a couple of weeks.  Wonder if I could substitute collard greens for cabbage?  What's the worst that could happen?  You got it.  I substituted.  And, yes, it worked.  Not perfectly, but it worked. 

Now, the filling for these called for cooking the rice in milk.  I'm not a milk fan.  Buttermilk?  Maybe.  Drink a glass of milk?  Not on your life.  Needless to say, I was a bit leery of the whole idea.  But, I figured I like custards and puddings and rice pudding.  Couldn't be all that different.  End result?  I don't think I'll ever again make cabbage rolls without cooking the rice in milk.  Explaining the difference is difficult but the best I can do is say the rice was creamier. 

The filling was half pork and half ground beef.  That's different from Mom's recipe too.  And, I loved it.  So did Connie.  I was worried about overcooking the collard green leaves so didn't leave them in the full 20 minutes the recipe specified.  My bad.  They were a bit chewy.  Now, the other big difference?  The sauce.  It called for Rosy Rhubarb sauce or Lingonberry sauce.  And, beef broth.  Very different from the tomato sauce I grew up on.  This was wonderful.  A little sweet.  A lot of flavor.  Other than a bit of fussing the last 15 minutes of cooking time, this is a tremendous recipe for fixing ahead and not having to mess with. 

Caramelized Cabbage Rolls


1 medium head green cabbage
3/4 c plus 1/3 c milk
1/4 c Arborio rice
4 oz ground beef
4 oz ground pork
1 large egg, beaten
1 medium onion, minced
1/3 c milk
2 T rosy rhubarb syrup or bottled lingonberry syrup
3 T unsalted butter, melted
3/4 c beef broth


Core the cabbage.  Put the cabbage into a pot of boiling water.  Turn the heat down and simmer the cabbage for 20 minutes, until it's very soft.  While that's cooking, pour the milk into a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil.  Add the rice, lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer it for 20 minutes. 

Remove the cabbage from the pan and drain it in a colander.  Allow it to cool while you prep the stuffing.  To make the stuffing, mix the ground beef and pork

with the cooked rice, egg 1/3 c milk and onion.  Now, prepare the cabbage for stuffing.  Separate and dry the leaves.  Cut away any of the thick stem to make rolling them easier.  Heat your oven to 425.  Lay a leaf out on a cutting board and put 1/2 T of filling on it.  the amount of filling will depend on the size of the leaf.  Roll the leaf up and put it in a greased 9x13 baking dish, seam-side down. 

Drizzle the rolls with the rosy rhubarb or lingonberry syrup and the melted butter.  Bake for 20 minutes, then pour the beef broth over the rolls.  Cook for another 15-20 minutes.  Baste every 5 minutes with the broth mixture.  The rolls will be browned and caramelized.  

adapted from Heartland

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

They sound delicious. We are always looking for a creative use for collard greens and this might be a great way to get my kids to eat them.