May 11th, 2017
From: Feast: Recipes & Stories from a Canadian Road Trip, by Lindsay Anderson & Dana Vanveller, published by Penguin Random House Canada
In a medium pot, cook the rice according to package instructions. Set aside.
If you’re using fresh cabbage, set a large pot of water to boil. Once the water is boiling, blanch the cabbage whole for about 2 minutes. Remove from the pot and reserve the hot water.
For either fresh or soured cab- bage, peel the leaves off until there are no more. If at any point it becomes difficult to peel the layers from the fresh cabbage, simply re-blanch it in the reserved hot water and start again.
Place any torn pieces on the bottoms of two 9- × 9-inch (23 × 23 cm) baking dishes and reserve the whole ones for making into rolls. To make rolling easier, cut out the thick rib from the bottom of each leaf.
For the filling, combine the raw beef, 1/2 cup (125 mL) of undiluted consommé, onion, egg, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Mix in the prepared rice once it has cooled
Place about 1/3 cup (80 mL) filling in the centre of each cabbage leaf. Fold the sides overtop the filling and roll up from the stem end. Secure with toothpicks. You should end up with about 24 to 30 rolls.
Next, melt half the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in 2 Tbsp (30 mL) of the brown sugar and, working in batches, place the rolls in the pan for 4 to 5 minutes each, turning to coat evenly. First, cook with the seam side (the side secured with toothpicks) up; when ready to turn, remove the toothpicks and cook the roll seam side down.
Adding more butter and sugar as needed, continue until all rolls are coated. Arrange the rolls closely together, seam sides down, over the cabbage leaves that are lining the baking dishes.
Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and remaining consommé until smooth. Stir into the skillet and add the onions, tomatoes, tomato sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and any butter and sugar that were not used to coat the rolls. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.
Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls and bake, covered, until the cabbage is tender, about 2 1/2 hours.
NOTE: If you’re using soured cabbage, we recommend using slightly less vinegar (1/2 cup/125 mL, instead of 3/4 cup/185 mL) in the sauce, since the brined cabbage already has extra acidity.