Serves 6 to 8
1 large green cabbage (about 2 1/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 cups cooked rice
8 ounces ground beef
8 ounces ground pork
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1 medium green pepper, grated
2 celery stalks with leaves, finely chopped
4 cups tomato purée
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/2 cup sour cream, plus more for garnish
1. Using a paring knife, remove center core of cabbage. In a large stockpot,
bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Add cabbage and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until
outer leaves are bright green and tender. Lift cabbage from water, and remove
outer leaves. Return cabbage to boiling water, and repeat brief cooking and
removal of leaves until all leaves are cooked. Reserve 2 cups cabbage cooking
water. Trim thick center vein from bottom of each leaf. Reserve four large outer
leaves to line bottom of pan. Set aside.
2. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and
cook until golden and tender, about 8 minutes. In a large bowl, combine onion
mixture, rice, beef, pork, salt, pepper, parsley flakes, green pepper, and
celery. Stir to combine.
3. Add about 1/3 cup rice filling to one cabbage leaf. Fold sides of cabbage
over filling and starting with the stem end, roll the cabbage up. Repeat with
remaining leaves and filling.
4. Line a 5-quart Dutch oven with reserved outside leaves. Transfer stuffed
cabbage leaves to Dutch oven.
5. In a large bowl, combine tomato purée and the reserved 2 cups of cabbage
cooking water. Pour some of the tomato sauce over cabbage to almost cover.
Sprinkle apple over top of cabbage leaves. Bring to a gentle simmer, adding
additional tomato sauce as needed, for 1 hour or until cabbage is very tender.
6. Place sour cream in a small bowl, and ladle in about 3/4 cup of tomato sauce
from the cooked stuffed cabbage rolls. Whisk to combine. Add sour cream mixture
back to French oven, and stir to combine. Serve with additional sour cream.