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German cabbage rolls are best made from whole pickled cabbage, the way it is done in many European countries. If you are able to find whole pickled cabbage, then you don't have to blanch fresh cabbage for this recipe. The cabbage rolls made from pickled cabbage are called "sour", and the rolls made from fresh cabbage are called "sweet". In case you have extra stuffing left after filling all the cabbage rolls, you can spread it around in the baking pan and cook it, too. Cabbage rolls can be made vegetarian using rice and mushrooms, or substituting the ground meat with meat substitute made of soy.

German Cabbage Rolls Recipe

Ingredients: 1 whole cabbage, 1 lb. ground beef, 1 lb. ground pork, 2 cups rice, 3 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 onion, finely chopped, 1 Tbsp. chopped garlic, 3 bay leaves, 1 tsp. fresh thyme, 1 tsp. fresh tarragon, 2 cups chicken broth or base, 2 carrots, grated, 4 cups tomato sauce, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, 1 Tbsp. white vinegar.

Recipe: In a large heavy saucepan, bring 4 litres of water to a boil and put the cabbage inside, along with 1 tbsp. of salt and 1 tbsp. of vinegar. When the cabbage is blanched, take it out of the water and cool it down with cold water. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and saute the onion, garlic, grated carrot and bay leaves. Saute for 5 minutes and add the rice. Stir until the rice becomes semi-transparent. Add the ground meat and press it well with potato masher to blend it with the other ingredients. Pour in the chicken broth (or hot water), fresh herbs and 1 cup tomato sauce. Cook the cabbage roll filling until the meat is fully cooked and remove it from the heat. Season the filling to taste and stuff the cabbage leaves. Arrange the folded cabbage leaves in a baking pan and pour some water around them. Cover and cook in the oven at medium temperature. Remove the lid after 25 minutes, pour the tomato sauce on top of the cabbage rolls and cook for about 15 minutes more, or until the rice is cooked.

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