Gramma’s Stuffed Cabbage, with a Russian twist

Last weekend, I was craving Polish food, especially Gramma’s piggies and mashed potatoes. After I made it, oh was it heaven!

Here’s the recipe. I wish I took pictures.

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground meat (we use a combination beef, pork and veal; but beef or turkey will work)
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 egg
  • salt, pepper
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce

Mix these ingredients together. They will be your mix for inside the vegetables.

  • 1 head green cabbage
  • 1-2 peppers (green, red or yellow)
  • 1 large tomato

Boil a large pot of water. Wilt the cabbage leaves in the water, and cut the large vein out of each leaf. Put aside.

Slice each pepper and tomato about 1/2 inch from the top to create a top and a bottom. Dig out all of the seeds and veins so each vegetable is just an empty vessel. Cut out the middle of the pepper top to remove stem.

Take the meat mixture and stuff each vegetable. Only fill the peppers or tomatoes about 2/3 of the way to the top to allow for expansion with the rice. Put about 1/4-1/3 cup of meat mixture in each cabbage leaf and roll up like an enchilada.

  • 2 large (28oz or larger) cans of tomato sauce
  • 2 T lemon or lime juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 T worcheshire sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (white is possible, but brown tastes a little better)

Mix sauce together. Cover the bottom of a crockpot, stockpot, dutch oven or baking dish with tomato sauce.

Place each vegetable roll in the sauce, layering tomato sauce between each layer. Ensure that the top has sufficient sauce on it, or else it will get crispy and possibly burn.

  • 1 gala, red or green apple

A Russian mom would peel and cut the apple into thick slivers. Place them around the top of the pot. This gives it a little sweeter taste. I’ve always done this and I love it.

Cooking times:

  • Baking dish in Oven–350 for 3-4 hours
  • Dutch oven– Boil first on the stove, then oven 350F for approx 2 hours
  • Crock pot– high for between 6-9 hours (mine takes about 8)

You will know it is done when the rice is cooked.

Serve with mashed potatoes. My favorite recipe for mashed potatoes with this is:

  • 3# red potatoes, cut and boiled
  • 1 stick I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not-Butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • Splash of salt and pepper

Whip with beaters and serve with a little of the tomato sauce on top. YUMMY!!


About jaimeanne

I'm me. Graphic designer extraordinaire, urban master teacher of social studies, former adjunct professor, high school principal, and now most importantly-- Mom to the cutest little girl ever. I try to live by the quote, "Work like you don't need money, Love like you've never been hurt, And dance like no one's watching." I believe in Christ, and sometimes I'm just trying to figure out what He wants me to do. This blog chronicles that journey.
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