Hungarian Sweet and Sour Cabbage Rolls

JWU College of Culinary Arts

Minimum internal temperature 165°F

10 servings

Serving Size
2 rolls

Recipe ID

US standard
Savoy cabbage, cored
4 pounds
Breadcrumbs, Panko or Japanese breadcrumbs
As needed, about 1 cup
½ cup
Beef, ground
1 pound
Pork, ground
1 pound
Rice, cooked previously
1 cup
Carrots, medium, peeled and grated
2 each
Garlic cloves, chopped
3 each
Parsley, chopped
¼ cup
Salt, Kosher
To taste
Black pepper, ground
To taste
Eggs, whole
2 each
Vegetable oil
6 ounces
Spanish onions, cut macedoine
2 each
Tomatoes, canned, whole, peeled, deseeded and pureed
½ #10 can (3 pounds)
Lemon juice, fresh
½ cup
Red wine
1 cup
Dark brown sugar
1½ cups
Parsley, chopped
As needed
Sour cream
As needed
  1. Gather all the ingredients and equipment.
  2. Blanch the cabbage in a deep pot of boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Remove from the pot and shock in deep ice water for about 5 minutes. Gently peel apart the leaves, retaining the largest being careful not to break them. (If the cabbages are small, it may require 2 leaves together to make a roll). Use the smaller inner leaves and any damaged leaves to line the bottom of the braising vessel.
  3. While onions cook, prepare filling and stuff the cabbage leaves.
  4. For filling: Blend the breadcrumbs with the milk in a large bowl. Allow to soak until crumbs have absorbed all of the liquid. Thoroughly blend the ground beef, ground pork, rice, carrot, garlic, chopped parsley, salt, pepper and eggs into the breadcrumb mixture. To test the filling, cook a small meatball-size in liquid or fat. Taste for seasoning and texture. Adjust if necessary.
  5. To make the rolls: Trim off the heavy vein down the center of each leaf to thin it and make it flexible. Portion the filling into 2 ½ ounce balls and shape into 3- inch cylinders using moistened hands. Place one cylinder at the bottom of a prepared leaf. Fold up the bottom and fold in the sides to enclose the meat. Roll snuggly to the top.
  6. Rub some oil on the bottom of a hotel pan and arrange the rolls in a single layer, cabbage-lined braising pan.
  7. In a medium sauce pan, heat up some oil and cook the onions until lightly caramelized. Stir in the tomatoes, lemon juice, red wine, brown sugar and season with salt. Bring to a boil and puree until smooth. Pour over rolls.
  8. Cover the pan with the rest of the cabbage leaves and foil until center is 165ºF (74°C) and the cabbage is tender, about 1 hour.
  9. Serve 2 rolls per portion, topping with tomatoes, chopped parsley and a dollop of sour cream of the side.
  10. Serve immediately or hold hot at 135°F (57°C) or above.