Did I ever tell you about the time my grandpa called me and my sister “study German girls”? He thought it was a compliment.
I have German ancestry on both sides (my maiden name and my mom’s are VERY German). Maybe that is why I like this dish so much. It reminds me of my childhood.
Unfortunately, when I try to weasel a recipe out of my mom, she always tells me she doesn’t have a recipe. She throws in some of this, some of that, and cooks it for awhile. Hm. Which is why I had to try to make her potato soup for three years before I got it right.
So when she was here last week, we made this together and I came up with measurements so that there is now an actual recipe! I hope Libbie will like cabbage and sauerkraut so I’ll have someone to share this with—Mr. V ate the insides of one roll and some mashed potatoes.
Freeze the head of cabbage overnight; let thaw in the fridge the next day until dinner.
Core the cabbage from the bottom (you don’t want to cut into the leaves, just cut a circle around it and yank it out from the bottom). Remove cabbage leaves one by one; cut off the very thick part (vein) of the leaves.
Combine ground beef, rice, dried onion, and black pepper. Form into 2-inch balls. Wrap each ball in a cabbage leaf. Place one layer of cabbage rolls in the bottom of a Dutch oven or deep casserole dish. Pour half of the tomato sauce and half the can of sauerkraut over the rolls. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Repeat layers once more. If desired, cut up the rest of the cabbage and add to the top. Pour 1 cup of water over it all.
Cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours at 350, or until the beef is cooked through.