This recipe for Hungarian stuffed cabbage or toltott kaposzta is made with ground pork, beef, sliced smoked pork butt, sauerkraut, and fresh cabbage. Some traditional recipes are made with whole soured cabbage heads like kiseli kupus.
1/4 cup rice, rinsed and drained
1 pound lean ground pork
1/2 pound ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium onions, finely chopped, divided
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons paprika, divided
1 head cabbage (about 4 pounds)
2 pounds sauerkraut, drained (rinsed, if desired)
1/2 cup tomato juice
1/2 pound cooked or raw smoked pork butt, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons lard
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sour cream
Steps to Make It
Cook rice in 1/2 cup water for 10 minutes, drain and set aside.
In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together the ground pork, ground beef, garlic, half the chopped onion, egg, salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon of the paprika, and reserved cooked and drained rice. Set aside.
Remove the core from the cabbage. Place the whole head in a large pot filled with boiling, salted water. Cover and cook 3 minutes, or until softened enough to pull off individual leaves. You will need about 18 leaves.
When leaves are cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to shave away the thick center stem from each leaf, without cutting all the way through.
Place about 1/2 cup of the meat mixture on a cabbage leaf. Roll the leaf away from you to just encase the meat, leaving some of the leaf unrolled.
Flip the right side of the leaf to the middle, then flip the left side to the middle. You will have something that looks like an envelope. Once again, roll away from you to create a neat little roll. Repeat with the remaining 17 leaves, or until the meat mixture is completely used.
Cut any remaining cabbage leaves into fine shreds and set aside.
Place the sauerkraut in a large casserole dish or Dutch oven (about 16-inches x 10-inches x 6-inches), pour tomato juice on top, followed by sliced pork butt, and enough water to just cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes.
Place reserved shredded cabbage in the casserole dish. Nestle the cabbage rolls on top of the mixture in the dish. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 F. Melt lard in a small skillet. Add the flour and the remaining chopped onion to make a roux. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes or until the mixture turns golden.
Remove the skillet from the heat, stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon paprika, and 1 cup of cold water until smooth.
Gently remove the stuffed cabbage from the casserole with a slotted spoon to a warm platter. Take a ladleful of sauerkraut broth and whisk it into the roux in the skillet.
Return this liquid to the main casserole dish. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently.
Once the mixture boils, remove from the heat and return the stuffed cabbages to the dish. Cover, transfer to the oven and bake 15 minutes.
Mix some of the juices from the dish with the sour cream and pour over the stuffed cabbages before serving.