$Title = 'Golubtsy';
$SubTitle = 'Stuffed Cabbage Leaves';
Golubtsy (Stuffed Cabbage Leaves) is a very popular main dish in Russia. It is cooked for both everyday meals as well as for holidays.
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 head white cabbage (about 2 pounds)
- 2 large onions, coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 pound ground beef (or half ground beef and half ground veal)
- 3 tablespoons raw rice
- 1 large carrot, scraped and grated
- 1 large clove garlic, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed fennel seed
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste (use it liberally)
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (or 1 28-ounce can, drained)
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Core the cabbage. Blanch it in boiling water for about 5
minutes. Remove from the pot and gently peel off the outer
leaves. If the inner leaves are still too stiff to be
removed, return the cabbage to the boiling water for another
minute or so. Continue until all leaves have been removed.
Use the small inner leaves or any damaged ones to line the
bottom and sides of a 3-quart Dutch oven. Reserve the cooking
- To prepare the onions, mix them with the olive oil in a
heavy-bottomed frying pan. Pour over enough of the hot water
from the cabbage pot to just cover the onions. Bring to a
boil and simmer slowly, uncovered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour,
or until the water has evaporated and the onions are golden.
Stir occasionally to make sure the onions don't stick to the
- While the onions are simmering, prepare the filling. In a
large bowl thoroughly mix together the ground beef (and veal,
if any), raw rice, carrot, garlic, fennel, parsley, salt, and
pepper. Stir in the egg, blending well.
- Starting with the largest leaves, take a cabbage leaf and
place a mound of filling along the center. Tuck up the bottom
edge of the leaf first, then roll and tuck until the filling
is completely enclosed in the leaf. Continue until all the
filling has been used. There will be about 12 rolls.
- Place half the rolls in the cabbage-lined pot in a single
layer, seam-side down. Cover with half of the prepared
onions, then top with the remaining cabbage rolls and the rest
of the onions.
- In a medium-sized saucepan heat the tomatoes, pressing with
the back of a spoon until they begin to give off juice. Stir
in the lemon juice, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil. Pour
over the cabbage rolls. The chunks of tomato will form a
layer on top.
- Cover the pot and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
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