2 large onions
3 lb. shin bone or short ribs
6 c. water
3 lb. ground meat
2 c. cooked rice
fresh parsley to taste
28oz. can tomato puree
This is my mother-in-law's recipe - the more we talked about it, the more it appears that everybody's grandma had her own way. A good, hearty meal for a chilly day.
Prepare the broth:
Place 3 lb. of shin bone or short ribs in a stockpot or Dutch oven and brown on all sides. Slice onion and cook until onion is translucent. Cover with 6 c. water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Simmer until a good, rich broth develops and the meat is falling off the bone, about 2-3 hours. Skim any fat or scum that rises to the top.
(I'm thinking if you don't have all day to devote to this, you could probably substitute a bought stock, or make the stock on another day...But this is the way my mother-in-law makes it.)
Remove the bones and set the stock (with any remaining beef in it) aside.
Prepare the cabbage:
Remove the core. Steam the cabbage until the leaves are soft, pliable and easily removed. If the tough center part proves to be trouble when you're rolling your cabbage rolls, make a cut down the middle of it.
Prepare the filling:
In a large bowl, combine the raw round meat with the cooked rice, eggs, and parsley.
Roll your own:
In a baking dish, lay one layer of the outermost leaves of the head of cabbage. (This will give the sauce a bit more cabbage flavor - and it keeps the rolls from sticking to the bottom of the dish.)
Shape some of the meat mixture into an oblong shape. Place it on a cabbage leaf, sort of down towards the base of the leaf. Tuck that base up around the filling, then fold over the left and right edges. Roll the top, more pliable, edge around the filling and secure with a toothpick. (It's the same sort of fold-e-roll (haha) that you'd do with a tortilla for a burrito.) Place in baking dish.
When your cabbage leaves are all rolled around your filling, add stock to the baking dish. Pour tomato puree over the top of everything. Bake at 300°F for 2 hours.
Submitted by Gretchen Grant Contributed on: and modified on Wednesday February 9th, 2011