Cabbage Rolls with Secret Sauce

Farm Style Cabbage Rolls.

What’s  Fall without a great big batch of Cabbage rolls?  Each year we whip up a big pan of these hearty Cabbage Rolls and eat till we burst.  We use an old recipe that was first published in the Palmer Rapids cook book. It’s a culmination of recipes from all the ladies in the town. This one certainly stood out as one of the very best and it’s a Family Tradition at our house.  Elfie’s aunt Iona, then her mom and now the TwoFoodNuts have adopted and adjusted the recipe to make the Best Darn Cabbage Roll Recipe Ever!

Farm style Cabbage Rolls

One of the best things about food like this is you can make a ton of it and it tastes as good or better when it’s been frozen. So, one mess and many meals is a great solution to busy lives.  Besides just because life gets crazy doesn’t mean we can’t eat well.  We serve our cabbage rolls with a chunk of crusty bread slathered in fresh butter.  You really don’t need anything else!

TwoFoodNuts Cabbage Roll Filling:

  • 1 large Savoy Cabbage (this is the curly Cabbage rather than the smooth type)
  • 1 Pound ground Beef
  • 1 Pound ground Pork
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 cup minute rice or other instant rice
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp Sirrachi Sauce (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of the Secret Sauce
  • Bacon slices sufficient to cover the entire top of the Cabbage Rolls.

Two Food Nuts Secret Sauce:

  • 1 large can Tomato Juice
  • 1  680 ml can of Spaghetti Sauce (this is about 24 oz or 3 cups ) Harry uses Hunts Extra Spicy
  • 1 bottle Pasata (this is pureed tomatoes)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 red chili, seeded and minced (Optional but oh so good).

Cooks Tip:   This is a big job, but being organized is the best method. We remove the cabbage leaves first, then make the sauce, and finally assemble the filling.  Now you have all the parts of the recipe ready to go.  The actually rolling takes very little time.

Using a very sharp knife, cut around the core of the Cabbage. Place the Cabbage into the microwave for 5 minutes. Peel off the softened leaves and reserve. Repeat this process until you have 18 leaves.  Cut the heavy rib off on each piece of Cabbage to make it easier to roll.

remove rib

Make the sauce and set aside.  Then, in a large bowl, place all the filling ingredients and mix well.  Once all is incorporated, its time to Rock and Roll!  Set the oven to 350F

 

filling the cabbage leavesPlace the filling at the core end of the Cabbage leaf and roll away from yourself to encase the filling.

folding the cabbage leavesNow fold the sides towards the middle and continue to roll into a tight packet. No need to use tooth picks, just place the roll with the seam side down in the roasting pan. Continue until all Cabbage Rolls are in the pan.

cabbage rollPour the Secret Sauce over the Cabbage Rolls and lay the bacon evenly over the entire roasting pan.  It will seem like too much sauce, but the rice is raw and will absorb a great deal of the liquid. By the time the Cabbage Rolls are fully cooked there will be just enough sauce to serve. (If you are short on sauce, just add a bit of water).

Cover with a lid or 2 layers of tin foil.  Place the pan in the center of the oven and cook for 2 -3 hours or until the cabbage is very tender and the sauce is somewhat reduced. The bacon will not be crisp but the fat will all be rendered out making the sauce very rich tasting. The bacon also imparts a slightly smokey taste to the Cabbage Rolls. You can discard it once the cabbage rolls are cooked, but we eat it.

Oven Ready Cabbage rolls

We are so pleased to share this family recipe with you. We hope you’ll give it a try. We know you’ll be delighted with the outcome. Pick a rainy day and Rock and Roll!

 

Farm style Cabbage Rolls

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Rouladen – German Beef Rolls

Making Rouladen With Friends!

Delicious Rouladen

Our friends Paul and Lynda were over for dinner when we served our version of Rouladen.  They just loved the meal and asked if Harry and I could do a cooking lesson so they could learn how to make this traditional dish. We were more than happy to share a very old family recipe with them. The best part was they came over to cook and we all got to sit down to a lovely meal together.  There’s nothing like cooking with friends and family!

German Beef Meat Rolls

Harry and Paul did the meat prep. Guys love that sort of thing.

rouladen cut of beef

This is how the Beef looks before you season it with the Mustard, Bacon and Pickle.

TwoFoodNuts Rouladen recipe:

Each Rouladen is one serving.

We like to make them 8 at a time and freeze the leftovers for a fast week night supper.

  • 8 slices of round steak cut for Rouladen
  • 1/2 cup quality grainy mustard
  • 8 slices of streaky bacon
  • 8 small dill pickles
  • 2 packages Knorr roast gravy mix ( this is one of those off the shelf ingredients that gives an excellent result)
  • 5 cups water
  • Pepper  (there is no salt added to this recipe as the bacon and the gravy mix are salty enough)

Lay the beef slices on a plastic cutting board, spread with a tablespoon of mustard.  Lay on a slice of bacon.  Place a small dill pickle at one end of the meat and roll up. Secure with a skewer. Brown the rolls in a heavy skillet on the stove top.  They should be browned all around.

Braised Rouladen

Once the Rouladen are browned, combine the gravy mix and water.  Pour it over the meat. Cook it on the stove top until the gravy thickens slightly.  Now place the pan in the oven at 350F till tender.  This should take from 1-1 1/2 hours.  The gravy mix is not traditional but it gives an excellent result without fuss.  It’s Ok to add an ingredient that is ready-made provided its good quality.

 

Delicious Rouladen

We served the Rouladen with Mashed Potatoes and Aunt Iona’s Wax Beans with cream.  Spatzle or Potato Gnocchi pair equally with this rich meat dish.