Serves 8. Recipe is from Corinne Cook.
8 to 10 cabbage leaves from fresh green cabbage
1¼ lbs. lean ground beef
1 cup raw, long-grain rice
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ bell pepper, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
½ small onion, chopped
Salt, black pepper and cayenne to taste
Pinch of cinnamon, optional
1 tbl. chopped fresh parsley
1 (10-oz. can) original Ro-tel tomatoes and green chilies (or 16-oz. can stewed or diced tomatoes)
1¼ cup water
1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
Generous pinch of brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350?F. Lightly spray 9-inch-by-11-inch baking pan or casserole dish with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Core cabbage; rinse well and drain. Remove 10 of the larger outer leaves.
3. Fill Dutch oven or large saucepan with water and bring to boil. When boiling, add cabbage leaves and cook for about 3 minutes or until softened. Carefully remove and drain; set aside. When cooled, carefully cut out about half of the thick vein in center of leaf.
4. In separate mixing bowl; add ground beef, uncooked rice, garlic, bell pepper, celery, onion, eggs, seasonings and chopped parsley. Stir, or using your fingers, mix until well combined. Make 10 loosely packed meatballs.
5. Overlap the bottom of the leaf where you cut out the thick vein and place a meatball in the center of the leaf. Gently shape the ball into more of a cylinder. Fold the sides of the leaf over the meat; lay the stem end over the meat and continue rolling meat up in the leaf. Place seam-side down in prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining meat and leaves. Rolls should be touching.
6. Sauce: In mixing bowl, add Ro-tel tomatoes (or stewed or diced tomatoes), water and tomato sauce and brown sugar. If desired add more seasoning if using diced tomatoes.
7. Pour tomato sauce mixture over top of rolls. Cover tightly with lid or foil. This has to steam so that the meat and rice cook through.
8. Bake for 1½ hours or until meat and rice are cooked.
Note: This same recipe can be cooked on top of stove. Place cabbage rolls in single layer in Dutch oven or heavy saucepan; bring to boil, cover then reduce heat. Simmer for 1 to 1½ hours. Check occasionally to make sure liquid has not cooked out; more water can be added if necessary.