Polish Stuffed Cabbage

cabbage-roll-makingMeat Stuffing

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

1 egg

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.

Gravy

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.

Storage

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.

with-vinegar-and-creme-fresh2

 

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.

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Grandma’s Kliskis

Grate 3 large potatoes, or put chunks of potato in blender with a little milk, add 1 or 2 eggs, add milk if you haven’t done it with the blender, a little salt, then start adding flour with a sturdy spoon until mixture is quite stiff.

Have a kettle of water boiling. Drop into boiling water, dough about the size of a teaspoon. Have a large spoonful of dough igrandma & grandpan one hand & drop the small pieces in with the other. They are done when they come to the top & should be scooped out with a spoon with holes in it & put to drain in a colander.

Fry bacon bits & then fry kliskis in with the bacon after it has been browned. Keep stirring until the kliskis are browned to suit taste.

Sauerkraut & Pork

In a crock pot, combine sauerkraut and cut up pieces of pork (with fat and bones). Let it simmer all day until the meat is tender.  The kliskis are served on top of the sauerkraut & pork.

How to Make Homemade Sauerkraut in a Mason Jar

Betty’s words

sauerkraut salt

Remembrances:

Lisa (eldest granddaughter): When I first pulled out all of my recipes (3×5 cards) that were from my Grandma, I realized that I only had one written in her own handwriting….this one.  (The recipe above her writing.)

What I also realized is that I spent a lot of time perched on a chair in Grandma’s ‘office,’ [a corner of her kitchen table where all of her pencils, pens, cards and notepads lived] writing in my childish hand what she dictated while she worked away on something else.

It was usually a special occasion when Grandma would make this.  In our family, you know you’re loved when someone makes Kliskis for you.