Stuffed German Cabbage Rolls

Stuffed German Cabbage Rolls

¾ cup brown rice
1 ½ cup water
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dill seed
½ tsp. margarine
¾ tsp. pepper
2 ½ cups yellow onion, diced
5 Tbsp. pure olive oil
½ tsp. paprika
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg, slightly beaten
¼ cup breadcrumbs
½ cup fresh parsley, minced
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 ½ lbs. cabbage
2 ½ cups canned tomatoes, chopped
½ cup beef broth
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
½ tsp. sugar

Preheat oven to 325°

Place brown rice in a bowl and cover it with hot water for about an hour. Drain. In a 2-quart saucepan, combine rice, water and 1 ½ tsp. salt. Cook rice according to package directions. Add the dill seed, margarine and ½ tsp. pepper. In a large skillet, sauté 1 ½ cups yellow onion in 3 Tbsp. of hot olive oil, until onion is clear. Add paprika and garlic; continue cooking and stirring for an additional minute. Stir in the rice mixture, egg, breadcrumbs and parsley. Adjust seasonings to taste. Combine the cooked rice mixture with the raw ground beef and mix well.

Core cabbage and blanch, cored-side down, in boiling, salted water for 5 minutes, or until softened. Drain. Remove 12 leaves and cut off ¼ of each leaf from the base. Arrange each leaf, curved-side down, on a cutting board and place 3 Tbsp. of beef/rice mixture in the center. Wrap the leaf around the filling and form into a roll. Repeat for all 12 leaves.

Chop remaining cabbage to make 3 cups and sauté with 1 cup yellow onion and 2 Tbsp. olive oil until soft. Add tomatoes, broth, tomato paste, sugar, ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasonings to taste. Transfer mixture to a large baking dish. Arrange the cabbage rolls close together in one layer on the sauce. Spoon some of the mixture over the rolls. Bake for 25 minutes. Baste rolls 4 - 5 times during cooking. Let cool.

Hint: For additional German flavor, add ½ cup cooking vermouth to the tomato paste before simmering.