One of our families favorite meals is Stuffed Cabbage. Several years ago, I attempted my first stuffed cabbage. Instead of baking it, I decided to throw it in the crock pot to see what would happen. Well, I love the results. I don’t have to heat up the house with the oven and I can make a boat load of it (plus extra cabbage bits) at a time.
Every time I make this recipe, I usually have one of two problems: too many cabbage leaves or too much filling. This was the very first time I didn’t have too much of either one. (Must be my lucky day… time to go play the lottery!)
If you’ve never made stuffed cabbage, you’re in for a treat. It does involve a little work, but this is very simple and the results of your effort will be enjoyed by all. I even got inspired to take pictures of all my steps along the way to make easier for all you first-timers out there. Some of the nuances involved in making stuffed cabbage will get easier the more you make it.
I doubled this recipe for my cooking today because I wanted to have a ton of leftovers to freeze for later. However, I’m only going to list my normal cooking size.
salt and pepper to taste (I never measure how much, I just eyeball how much I know my family likes in their food.)
1 (29 oz) can tomato sauce
Cook rice. (It's times like this that I really love my rice cooker. It's one of my best friends!)
Cut out the butt of the cabbage.
Boil water in a very large pot (one big enough to hold the head of cabbage.) Place cabbage in boiling water. Every few minutes, cabbage leaves will be ready to "fall off." Peel them off with tongs and place them on a plate or a couple of paper towels or a cutting board. Note: You will not use every single leaf on the head of cabbage. Once they start becoming too difficult to peal off, just pull the whole head out. Once it cools, chop it up and place it on the bottom of the crock pot.
Let cabbage leaves cool. Once rice is cooked, let cool.
In a large bowl, mix together ground beef, rice, egg, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. (Hopefully you're not afraid of getting your hands messy because they are the best mixers for this step.)
(Wash your hands!) Cut the heart out of each cabbage leaf to make rolling much easier and to have less tough stuff to cook through.
Scoop a bit of the meat mixture and place it in the middle of a cabbage leaf. Roll cabbage leaf. (I like to roll the top down, fold over the two sides, and then roll the bottom up.) This is another step that will be trial and error until you get comfortable with the amount. Place rolled cabbage leaves in the crock pot.
Once you complete a single layer of rolled cabbages, pour some tomato sauce over top to cover them. (If you still have more rolls to go, reserve some sauce.) If you need to do multiple layers, cover each layer with tomato sauce, ending with a layer of tomato sauce on top.
Cook on low 8-10 hours. Check your cabbage around 7:30 mark. If you have some that are not covered with liquid, flip them over so that the tops can soften in the liquid below.
Serve and enjoy. We love serving these over extra rice.