These beef-stuffed cabbage rolls in a tangy sauce are oven-braised until tender. This recipe first appeared in our October 2011 issue along with Katie Robbins's story Season of Rejoicing.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 large head cabbage, cored
- 2 tbsp. canola oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced, plus 1/2 cup finely grated
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 1⁄4 cup tomato paste
- 1⁄3 cup raisins
- 1⁄4 cup honey
- 1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 (32-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes with juice, pureed
- 1 lb. ground chuck
- 1⁄4 cup uncooked long-grain white rice, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, drained
- 3 tbsp. beef stock
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1⁄4 tsp. cayenne
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat; add cabbage, and cook, pulling off each outer leaf with tongs as it becomes tender, about 2 minutes per leaf. Transfer leaves to a baking sheet and continue until you have 20 leaves.
Heat oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; add sliced onions and celery, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until lightly caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add tomato paste, and cook, stirring, until lightly caramelized, about 2 minutes. Add raisins, honey, juice, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, partially covered, until reduced, about 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 350°. Combine remaining onion, chuck, rice, stock, paprika, cayenne, egg, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Place 2 tbsp. beef mixture in center of each cabbage leaf, fold sides over filling, and then roll up. Transfer rolls, seam side down, to bottom of a 9″ × 13″ glass baking dish. Pour tomato sauce over rolls; bake until filling is cooked through, about 45 minutes.
Correction: September 12, 2011
An earlier version of this recipe did not indicate the correct amount of onions to add in step 2. Add the two medium yellow onions, thinly sliced, in step 2; Combine remaining 1/2 cup onion, finely grated, to the beef mixture in step 3. This recipe has been corrected to reflect this.