Beef/ Pork

Stuffed Cabbage – A Second Look

On the menu tonight – Stuffed Cabbage!

It’s that time of year again to make stuffed cabbage. I decided to try a little bit different version this time. While very similar to what I made last time, I used a few new ingredients, one of them was Cognac.

I usually bake this in a baking dish, but this time I did it in a Dutch oven in layers. Either way works fine, so use whichever method you prefer. There isn’t anything difficult about this dish, but getting that perfect cabbage leaf and meat mixture to roll pretty can be a little challenging. The good news is, it is going to get covered with sauce, so if it isn’t perfectly rolled it’s OK.

Stuffed Cabbage

Stuffed cabbage always brings me back to my grandmother’s place. I love sweet and sour tomato sauce, the sour from the red wine vinegar and the sweet from the brown sugar and raisins. As far as comfort food goes, this ranks right up there with meatloaf and mashed potatoes with gravy.

I hope you’ll make a batch of stuffed cabbage and let me know how your version turns out!

Stuffed Cabbage - A Second Look

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By Patrick Dulmage Serves: 8-10
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 minutes Total Time: 2 hours

Stuffed Cabbage - A Second Look


  • 1-2 Heads of cabbage, boiled and leaves separated
  • Filling:
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 onions, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Cognac or Brandy
  • 1/2 cup cooked white rice (leftover Chinese food rice works great)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp finely chopped thyme
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Sauce:
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup raisins (white or red)
  • 3 Tbsp Cognac or Brandy
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 Tbsp freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper



Core the head(s) of cabbage


Boil the cabbage about 5-7 minutes


As it cooks, carefully remove the outer leaves and set aside to cool (You want leaves that are pliable but not falling apart)


Once the leaves are cool enough to work with, cut the tough rib from each each leaf


For the filling:


In a large mixing bowl, add the ground beef, ground pork, scrambled eggs, seasonings, Cognac, bread crumbs, rice, and gently combine and set aside


For the sauce:


Heat a large pot over medium-high heat


Add the olive oil and onion, then cook for about 8 minutes


Add the Cognac and let the alcohol cook off


Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic, red pepper flakes, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper


Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer


Simmer for about 30 minutes




Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees


After the sauce is finished, take 1 cup of it and add it to the meat mixture and give it one last gentle mix


In a 13x9 baking dish or large Dutch oven, put a few cabbage leaves on the bottom, then add a layer of sauce


On your work surface, lay out 1-2 cabbage leaves and add about a 1/2 cup of meat mixture and roll like you would a burrito


Repeat until you've used up all the meat


If you have more than one layer of cabbage rolls, cover the first layer with sauce before starting the next layer


Cover the cabbage rolls with sauce, then cover the baking dish/Dutch oven and bake for 1 hour


Once cooked, serve hot. I've seen some people garnish with a dollop of sour cream. Try it - it's DELICIOUS!

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