Jewish Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Stuffed vegetables are a traditional way of stretching a meager meat ration, and are especially useful in Jewish cooking because the meat can be either precooked or raw. Stuffed cabbage rolls are popular among all Ashkenazic communities, but especially in Poland and western Russia. They have many names–holishkes and golubtsy are just 2 of them.


serves 4
8 large whole, cabbage leaves
1 pound ground beef
salt and black pepper
1 onion, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon golden raisins
1/2 cup uncooked rice
2 cups canned tomatoes, with juice
1 tablespoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon sour salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar


1. Make sure the cabbage leaves you use are free of blemishes, holes, or tears. Plunge them into boiling water for 3 minutes to soften the veins so they can be rolled up.

2. Season the meat with salt and pepper, then mix it well with the onion, garlic, raisins, and rice.

3. Arrange the cabbage leaves on a flat surface. Place 2 tablespoons of filling in the center of each cabbage leaf.

4. Fold the sides of the leaves to the center, then roll the cabbage leaf up toward you, to firmly enclose the stuffing.

5. Tie the cabbage packages with strong thread.

6. Put the remaining ingredients in a shallow pan with a lid. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally.

7. Arrange the cabbage packages in the pan and cover. Reduce heat and simmer at a low boil for 1 hour, or until the leaves are tender and the contents cooked.

8. Baste the cabbage packages with the sauce every 20 minutes, and add a little water if too much liquid evaporates. Serve hot.

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