Mama Yolanda's Stuffed Cabbage

Recipe: Created by Chef Darek W Haupt, CEC for Mama Yolanda’s Traditional Sauces®, LLC
Level of Difficulty: Advanced
Yield: 6 – 2-piece portions
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 1 1/2 hours
Total time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Ingredients:
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
2 – 24 oz jars of Mama Yolanda’s Traditional Sauces® Authentic Italian Tomato Gravy
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup raisins
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 large head savory or green cabbage, including outer leaves

Filling:
2 1/2 lbs ground beef, 90/10% lean
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup onion, finely chop
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup uncooked white rice
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, fine chopped
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Method:
To make the sauce:
  1. Heat olive oil in large saucepan or 3 qt sauté pan, add onions and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent and lightly caramelized
  2. Add the 2 jars of Mama Yolanda’s Traditional Sauces® Authentic Italian Tomato Gravy (reserve 1 cup for the filling), vinegar, raisins, salt and pepper
  3. Bring to a boil then lower the heat and sauté uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside
  4. Remove the core of the cabbage with a paring knife.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a large (6-10 qt) pot of water to a rolling boil. Gently lower the cabbage head into the boiling water for 5-7 minutes (A screen colander with a long handle works well for lowering the cabbage into the water while safely avoiding contact between your hands and the boiling water. Scalding temperature is 135° F while water boils at 212° F)
  6. Remove from water and set aside
  7. While still hot, peel off each leaf with a pair of tongs and set aside. 12-14 leaves will be needed
To make the filling:
  1. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, eggs, onion, breadcrumbs, rice, thyme, salt and pepper. (This is best accomplished with your bare hands, but a sturdy spoon works well too)
  2. Add the reserved 1 cup of Mama Yolanda’s Traditional Sauces® Authentic Italian Tomato Gravy to the meat mixture. Mix well
Combining ingredients and baking:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F (177° C)
  2. Place 1 cup of the sauce mixture into a large, oven-safe, covered pot; 4 qt or larger
  3. Remove the hard, triangular rib from the base of each cabbage leaf
  4. Place 1/3 – 1/2 cup of filling in an oval shape near the bottom of each leaf and roll up toward the outer edge tucking the sides up as you roll.
  5. Place the cabbage rolls, seam-side down, over the sauce mixture until all the rolls are in the pot
  6. Ladle the remaining sauce over all the rolls
  7. Cover the pot with a tight lid and bake for 1 hour, 30 minutes or until meat and rice are cooked.
Serve hot. Hint – This dish can be made in advance, refrigerated and reheated prior to serving
Serving suggestion: Serve with roasted small red potatoes with butter and parsley and some crusty bread with butter to dab up the sauce.

Pair with Beaujolais Villages or Merlot