Paprika can go flat if it's too old. Make sure you taste test your paprika for cooking with it in this recipe. If it doesn't have a strong flavor, it's no longer good and you'll need to replace it.
Cook the rice while preparing the cooked cabbage.
Caraway seeds can also be used to season the stuffing in this recipe.
Recipe adapted from The Cooking of Vienna's Empire, Time Life Books, By Joseph Wechsberg, 1968. Out of print, but often available on eBay.
- 2 pounds sauerkraut (preferably a good brand, such as Bubbies, that you would find in the refrigerated section of your grocery store)
- 1 large head green cabbage
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup minced onions
- 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 pound ground pork
- 3/4 cup cooked white rice (from about 1/4 cup of dry rice)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika (or plain paprika if your market doesn't offer a choice)
- 1/8 teaspoon dried marjoram (can sub oregano)
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup tomato purée
- 1 cup sour cream
1 Prep the sauerkraut: Rinse the sauerkraut in cold water. Squeeze out excess moisture and set aside.
2 Cook the cabbage: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (1 tablespoon of salt for every 2 quarts of water). Add the whole green cabbage to the boiling water. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the cabbage.
Remove the cabbage from the water and let drain until it is cool enough to handle. Pull off as many large, unbroken leaves as you can and lay them on paper towels dry. If the inner leaves haven't cooked enough to bend easily, return them to the simmering water to cook a little longer.
3 Sauté onions and garlic: Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and sauté them until translucent and beginning to color. Add the garlic and cook half a minute longer. Remove from heat.
4 Make pork mixture: In a large bowl, place the ground pork, cooked rice, beaten eggs, paprika, marjoram, the cooked onions and garlic, salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Mix with your clean hands or a wooden spoon until just combined.
5 Stuff the cabbage rolls: Working one at a time, place a couple tablespoons of the pork stuffing in the center of a blanched cabbage leaf. Start at the thick end of the leaf and fold the sides of the cabbage over the stuffing. Then roll up the whole cabbage leaf into a tight bundle.
Repeat with the remaining leaves until you have used up all of your stuffing.
6 Layer stuffed cabbage rolls on top of sauerkraut: Place the rinsed and drained sauerkraut in an even layer on the bottom of a 5 or 6 quart thick-bottomed pot, such as a Dutch oven. Place the cabbage rolls on top of the sauerkraut.
7 Simmer the rolls: Mix the cup of water with the cup of tomato purée and pour over the cabbage rolls. Heat on high to bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and cook the cabbage rolls on a low simmer for one hour.
8 Make the sauce: Remove the stuffed cabbage rolls from the pot and place on a warm dish. Slowly stir the sour cream into the sauerkraut. Bring to a simmer and let cook for about 5 minutes.
9 Serve: Use a slotted spoon to lift the creamy sauerkraut sauce onto a serving platter. Arrange the stuffed cabbage rolls on top of the sauerkraut and spoon some sauce over them as well. Serve remaining sauce on the side.