Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
When done right, softened cabbage leaves, surrounding a filling of ground meat and white rice, are simmered in a smooth tomato sauce flavored with warm spices, sugar, and vinegar. Many times, however blown-out rolls are filled with chewy, flavorless meat and bland rice swimming in a sugary sauce. Our recipe gently cooks the stuffed rolls in the oven to reduce the risk of "roll blowout."
Why This Recipe Works
For our Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, canned tomato sauce had a smooth texture tasters liked and was thin enough to properly coat the rolls without becoming pasty. Sautéed onions and garlic provided a savory foundation, and ground ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg added the requisite warm spice flavor to the sauce. Tasters preferred brown sugar to white for its more complex flavor, and red wine vinegar to white for its bite.
We supplemented the beef filling with bratwurst, a mild German sausage, to boost the meaty flavor. A panade (paste) of milk and bread helped keep the filling soft and moist.