I think every Eastern European country has its version of stuffed cabbage rolls. I grew up on my Mom’s version which was not sweet and sour…just sweet. Being Polish, we called them, Golabki, pronounced
ga-WUMP-kee. It means, little pigeons in Polish, a reference to their size and shape. My husband calls them Gad-wonkas just to irritate me…it works.
Anyway, I have always loved my Mom’s cabbage rolls but my friend Jody has been after me to try her sweet and sour rendition. Jody’s mom Sharon has been making them this way forever and they have always raved about it.
OMG, can I just tell you…I love them. Love them! I mean I always love a good ‘twang in my food and this recipe just has a nice ‘twangy note. I love the contrast of the sweet and sour, it goes so perfectly together with the meat.
Here’s what’s interesting, in my Mom’s version, and this version too, tomato soup is used as the sauce base. We have tried many others ways to achieve the same flavor and every time go back to the soup. It just works perfectly. And makes it easy.
I hope you enjoy this version, it rocks.
Sweet & Sour Cabbage Rolls
1 large head cabbage
1 cup long grain white rice, uncooked
1-1/2 – 2 pounds ground beef
2 large eggs
Coarse salt and pepper
1 cup golden raisins
1 jar jar sauerkraut
4 cans tomato soup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 soup cans of water
Bring a large stock pot (12 quart) of water to boil. Place whole head of cabbage in boiling water to blanche and separate leaves, set aside separated leaves.
In another small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Pour in rice and boil for 5 minutes. Rinse and drain. Mix rice with ground beef, eggs, raisins and salt and pepper. Roll mixture in cabbage leaves.
Spread a thin layer of one can of soup and one cup water in a large baking pan. Layer cabbage rolls and cover with drained sauerkraut. Evenly sprinkle with brown sugar and lemon juice. (you can make it sweeter and more sour by adding more sugar and juice from the sauerkraut jar). Top with the rest of the tomato soup, mixed with water. Cover and bake at 325o for two hours.