Cabbage Rolls

Friday 19 March 2010

Cabbage Rolls  

I know that Cabbage Rolls are not traditional English food. I think they are probably something that originated in Eastern Europe, but they are something that we have enjoyed for many years in my family. 

 When I was a child, it was always a real treat when my mom had Cabbage Rolls on the menu. She made hers quite differently than most. 

 They were cooked in a huge Wearever Aluminum pot on top of the stove all day, and she always added potatoes, carrots, and wedges of cabbage to the pot along with the cabbage rolls. 

 My dad never liked the cabbage. I never liked the meat . . . but we made a deal with each other every time my mom made them. I gave him my meat, and he gave me his cabbage. We were both happy.

  Cabbage Rolls 

 Oh how delicious those vegetables were on my plate . . . the potatoes lightly mashed with my fork, and then all of them spread with cold butter and sprinkled with salt and pepper. The butter melting and mingling with the vegetable juices and tomatoes . . . 

 Oh my . . . just the thought of them makes my mouth water. I make mine quite differently than my mother did. She never put rice in hers, but I like rice in mine. I also add minced streaky bacon to the meat mixture, which gives it an added layer of flavour.

  Cabbage Rolls 

 She only ever used tinned tomatoes to cook hers in. I have developed a delicious and slightly sweet and sour tomatoey sauce to cook mine in.

  Cabbage Rolls 

 Her's were cooked on top of the stove. Mine are baked in the oven, so that those tasty little rolls absorb all the delicious flavours from the sauce and become meltingly tender.

  Cabbage Rolls 

 Both quite different from the other . . . but equally as delicious. I do hope you will give these a try before the weather becomes too warm for oven meals. 

 That beautiful Spring Cabbage that is in the shops right now, (the pointed sweetheart variety) is just perfect for these!!

  Cabbage Rolls 

  *Cabbage Rolls* 
Makes 12 

 This is our favourite cabbage roll recipe. Delicious, moist and meaty with a fabulous sweet and sour sauce. These always go down a real treat. I often double and triple the recipe when I take them to pot luck suppers. I always bring home an empty dish. 

 1 pound extra lean minced beef 
1/4 cup raw long grain rice 
1 large egg, beaten 
1 medium onion, peeled and grated 
1 carrot, peeled and grated 
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and crushed 
1 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 
1/2 pound smoked streaky bacon, minced 
12 wilted cabbage leaves, thick veins trimmed to thin 

 For the sauce: 
80g soft light brown sugar, (1/2 cup packed) 
2 ounces fresh lemon juice 
8 ounces passata 

 Place the meat into a bowl and mix together with the rice, egg, onion, carrot, garlic, salt, pepper and bacon. Mix well. 

 Shape into 12 equal sized ovals. 

 Place each oval at the wide end of a wilted cabbage leaf. Roll up, tucking in the sides to completely encase the meat. 

 Place, folded side down, into a greased baking dish. 

 Mix together the brown sugar, lemon juice and tomato sauce. Pour this sauce over the rolls. Cover tightly with a lid. 

 Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F. Place the casserole into the heated oven and bake for 1 hour. Uncover at the end of that time and bake for 20 minutes longer. Serve hot.


  1. Ok, you're gonna think I'm stupid but I once tried making these and stuffed cabbage with already cooked meat. No wonder why it was so hard to shape the cabbage into a perfect roll! :) Thanks for the pictures. I'll have to try it again!

  2. I LOVE cabbage rolls, Marie! So glad you shared this recipe tonight!

    How's the moving preparations going? I hope you're not working yourselves too hard! Are there people that are helping you? I sure hope so!

    Keeping you in my prayers, as always...much love sent your way this lovely night...see you tomorrow!

  3. Marie, this food is turkish.. however, here in Greece is very popular and we use oil, lemon and eggs as a sauce..

    have a nice day..


    ps: happy i can finally post a comment..:)

  4. I think I must be about the only person in the world never to have had a cabbage roll. They look pretty impressive. Are they a main meal in their own right or do they get served along side something else?

  5. Chele, I like to serve them with some steamed rice. The sauce tastes so good with it. I also serve some vegetables on the side. The other day we had roasted carrots and parsnips and they were very good together.

  6. Interesting to read they're Turkish. it makes sense though as that was a great influence in Italy and my grandmothers both made them. Yours look incredible as always
    xoxo Pattie

  7. They look just right..Everything the way I like:)

    Great pics Marie~

  8. Haven't cabbage rolls in a long time! You have the talent of making them look good and sound good. Now I'm hungry for cabbage rolls.

  9. Oh, I love cabbage rolls and need to make them again after seeing this! They look delicious!

  10. Never heard of these Marie, they look very tasty.

    Wishing you well, sending you my love and best and hope you are doing ok. Lucie xx

  11. This is perfect. I bought mince and cabbage today in my supermarket shop, so this may be appearing on my menu this weekend!

  12. My mom makes them this way too. maybe it is a german or russian thing.

  13. Fabulous recipe, Marie. My impression, too, is that these are distinctly Eastern European. Romanians, for example, love this stuff! My family, quite Romanian on my mom's side, cooked up a huge pan of these for every big gathering while I was growing up. Your recipe looks so similar to what my mom would have made, I am making it a point to save it. I can almost smell them! (Another beauty of a recipe from Marie!)

  14. I used to have something similar to this when I was growing up. I always knew them as "gołabki" (from the Polish side of my family).

  15. Ive always wanted to try making a veggie version of cabbage rolls. The sauce theyre in is a great idea also.


  16. Marie, I made these cabbage rolls last night for dinner and yes! they went down a real treat! I didn't have the bacon, but that it is the only deviation that I made to your recipe. And.....I have leftovers to warm up for today....YAY!

  17. Well, to me they're Polish!! They are called 'glembokie' - pronounced something like 'gerwompki' in English and I learnt them at my Polish mother's knee, as she did at hers - but I am sure the recipe has spread across from Russia and moving west and south, as they serve them in Moscow too!!! I don't suppose we'll ever know where they originated.....

  18. They sure are Polish right along with pierogis and Keilbasa and saurkraut! I grew up on this kind of food! Yummy!

  19. i think they are one of those turkish foods that made it all across eastern europe! they are very popular here in canada too due to our large eastern european population especially in the prairies - and thank goodness for that!

    marie - here is a trick to really make the cabbage rolls sweet and sour - my mother always layered home-made sauerkraut over the cabbage rolls. to this day everyone always wonders why my cabbage rolls taste so much better than everyone else's!!!

  20. Oh yes, I have seen that done anonymous and I love it! You are making me hungry for some cabbage rolls again!

  21. Gosh they look so good. I could ravage a cabbage right now.  

  22. I made these today as cabbage was a good price and I wanted to make them while the weather is still a bit chilly. They were really good and I really liked that they were baked rather than cooked on the stovetop. I used the suggestion of layering sauerkraut over the cabbage rolls and that added an extra layer of flavour. It's something that I'd never thought to do before.

    They are delicious and the filling is perfectly balanced and just the right consistency. It made a lovely, heart meal and we have leftovers for tomorrow as well, so I'm thrilled :)

    1. I am so pleased that you made these and enjoyed them. I love, LOVE them with the kraut added. We get fabulous kraut here in Nova Scotia. I can't wait to be in my own place so I can cook some! I am happy you and Lars enjoyed this and I know you will love the leftovers even more! Thank YOU for taking the time to share! xoxo


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