Cabbage Rolls, for the freezer

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Cabbage Rolls, a memory of my childhood.   Although I don’t remember my mother or grandmother making them, it’s actually from a friend of my  mother’s  whose casserole dish has stuck in my  head all these years.

 They were really, really good.

Although I have had them from time to time at someone’s house, or a cafeteria, they were never as good as the one’s my mom’s friend had made so long ago.

So, with a very large head of cabbage recently acquired for the upcoming New Year’s, I thought I’d try a different way to get my cabbage in this year.  It would also give me the opportunity to create a few freezer meals for my in-laws, who love to have some meals stashed in the freezer.

Although I think it would be better to freeze the rolls before cooking, to make it easier on them I think it would be better to give them something that is fully  cooked and only requires thawing and reheating.

  • 12 large green cabbage leaves (about a 2-3  pound cabbage)

  • 1 cup minced onion

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice, cooled

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, pork, turkey, fresh sausage or any combination thereof (I used 1 1/2 pounds Fresh Green Onion Sausage)

For sauce:

  • 1 tbsp butter

  • 1 cup minced onion

  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, minced

  • 1 14.5 oz can tomato sauce

  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1 1/4 tsp pepper

  1. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat melt tsp butter. Add 1 cup chopped onions and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

  2. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, brown sugar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce to the onion saucepan.  Let get warm through.

  3. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer.  Remove the bottom core of the cabbage, and immerse in water.  Yes, the whole thing!  Return to a simmer, and turn the heat off.  Let cabbage sit in the water for about 10 minutes, just enough to soften the leaves without overcooking them.

  4. Remove as many whole leaves as you can for the rolls.  My cabbage was REALLY big, so I actually was able to get 2 rolls out of each leaf.

  5. Pour sauce over the cabbage rolls in the slow cooker.  Add a little more water if needed.  I added about 1 1/2 cups.

  6. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.

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