1 1/2 – 2 cups Panko or Italian bread crumbs – soak in water then drain with a strainer (press firmly to remove as much water as possible).
1 lb. ground pork
1 lb. ground beef
1 lg. yellow onion chopped
salt and pepper
Mix together like a meatloaf.
*Stop here if you prefer mild meat stuffing.
Since my tastes run more toward zippy, I also add;
juice from one lemon
1 tsp. Hungarian paprika
1 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. dill
1 full pkg. of fatty bacon – cooked until drippings are obtainable
2 – 14.5 oz cans chicken broth
Cabbage Leaf Stuffing
1 large head cabbage with the core cut out.
Fill a large soup pot with water, add salt and boil.
Place the entire head of cabbage into the boiling water. Watch for the leaves to begin to separate. Remove the leaves when they become soft or take the head out of the water, put it in a strainer, and peel the leaves.
The leaves are ready when they are translucent and soft. Continue boiling and leaf peeling until the entire cabbage is disassembled.
On a cutting board, spread a leaf out as flat as possible. Cut a “V” to remove the thickest parts.
Cut a small palm-sized portion of the leaf. Hold it in your hand and place 1 tablespoon of the meat stuffing on it. Turning it over onto the larger leaf, fold the leaf around the palm-sized portion. *The goal is to have no spaces where the meat squeezes out.
Secure with a toothpick.
Continue stuffing leaves until they’ve all been used.
Cook the Cabbage Rolls
In a large soup pot, bring 1 can of chicken broth + some water to a simmer. Add 3 tblsp. of bacon fat.
Place stuffed cabbage rolls into the bottom of the pot in a single layer, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove cooked rolls, add another batch to the pot to cook for 30 minutes. Add more water / broth as needed.
*The brand of bacon that I had didn’t yield much fat, so I added three full strips of bacon to the chicken broth in the pot.
Add 1 can of chicken broth to the remainder of the bacon grease. Heat till warm.
*I had more meat stuffing than the cabbage leaves would hold, so I fried it up and added it to the gravy.
Blend a couple of tablespoons of flower with water and slowly add to broth mixture, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.
Place cabbage rolls in a casserole dish and cover with gravy. Heat them at 350 degrees in the oven for 45-50 minutes if you have a large group to feed or place the dish in the refrigerator and eat them a couple at a time.
Being a vinegar fan, I liberally douse my stuffed cabbage rolls with red wine vinegar. London Malt vinegar is good too as is rice vinegar – though milder. Top it off with Crème Fraîche, plain yogurt or sour cream.