As so many of us do, I remember having many dinners at my grandmother's home as a child and young teen. My grandmother Eva emigrated from Poland when she was around fourteen years old. My grandfather Frank came before her. Today I was picking my sister's brain for information about them and we are certain they came through Ellis Island but think they never became naturalized citizens. My grandparents both spoke English; my grandmother's a little more broken than my grandfather's.
Well the recipe today is an homage to my heritage but it's not what you would call a true Polish stuffed cabbage recipe. One of the differences is that I am using savoy cabbage. I prefer that over regular green cabbage and I intentionally purchased a head with the thoughts of using it for our corned beef and cabbage dinner as well as in this recipe. When I prepped for the corned beef dinner I carefully removed seven of the large outer leaves just for this dish. You could use less filling and get more than seven stuffed cabbage. I had some pretty large leaves and filled them up pretty well.
- 7 cabbage leaves
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 pound ground beef (I used chuck)
- 1/2 large onion - diced
- 1 - 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken broth - split (about 1/2 or less for the rice and the rest for the cooking liquid)
- 1/4 cup uncooked white rice
- 2 tsp. granulated garlic
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves + sprigs
- 1 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley (or 1 1/2 tsp. dried)
- 2-3 leaves fresh basil - torn
Here's a little photograph help if you are new at making stuffed cabbage:
- In a large stock pot filled about 1/2 way with water bring it to a light boil over medium high heat. Add in the cabbage leaves and cover and cook for about 5 minutes to wilt them enough to handle. Drain and allow to cool down.
- Make your rice while the cabbage leaves are cooling and prep your onion and get your spices and herbs ready. Let the rice cool down a bit also.
- In a large bowl combine the ground beef and ground pork with the diced onion, the cooked rice, granulated garlic, salt and black pepper. Add in the tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves and the fresh chopped parsley.
- Mix well to incorporate but do not over work the meat just like you would do for a meatloaf.
- Take the now cooled cabbage leaves and cut out the really hard piece of the core. (see photograph)
- Place the meat mixture onto the cabbage leaf and roll up. (see photographs)
- Place in a stock pot with the can of diced tomatoes and liquid along with a 1/2 cup or so of chicken broth, sprigs of thyme and the torn basil leaves.
- Cover. Bring to a low boil then simmer for about an hour until the meat mixture is cooked.