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#1228: REC: Braised Cabbage Rolls with Ham and Breadcrumb Stuffing

Posted by: Joe at 2:43 am on Mar 23, 2006

This is Julia Child's version. It's really good, and also good cold the next day.


1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 1-1/2 inch cube of Swiss Cheese, roughly diced
2 cups or so scraps or pieces of ham, trimmed of fat
2 eggs
1 large clove of garlic, pureed
1-1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs.
Seasonings: salt, pepper, and sage

Drop the onion into a food processor and pulse into 1/4-inch pieces. Add the cheese and ham and chop with 5 or 6 pulses. Pulse in the eggs and garlic, then the crumbs. Season highly to taste.

Cabbage Rolls:

(for about 12 rolls)

The blanched leaves from an 8-inch cabbage (cut out the core, plunge into a big kettle of boiling water, nudge the leaves off with two wooden spoons, and let them simmer a few minutes.)
3 cups of the above stuffing
2 Tbs. butter
1 cup sliced onions
Salt and pepper
3-1/2 cups peeled, seeded and juiced tomatoes, cut up, (or drained Italian canned tomatoes, or a combination.)
2 bay leaves

Remove the tough part of the central stem from the lower part of the cabbage leaves, as necessary. Spread one leaf (or several small leaves combined) cupped side up on your work surface; divide the filling into 12 portions. Spread a cylinder of filling onto each leaf and roll up into a sausage shape, enclosing the filling completely.

Set a large skillet or chicken fryer over moderate heat with the butter, add the onions and saute for 5 to 6 minutes, until limp and translucent. Arrange the cabbage rolls best side up over the onions. Season lightly with salt and pepper, pour the tomatoes over them, and bury the bay leaves in the pan. Bring to the simmer, cover, and simmer slowly, basting occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender. Taste and correct seasoning.

[I find they take longer to get really tender. I also find the stuffing recipe makes more than 3 cups, so I make a few more than 12]

May be braised in advance and reheated.

Suggested accompaniments: navy beans or boiled potatoes, or just good French bread--and a simple red wine.

From The Way To Cook by Julia Child