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Ukrainian Cabbage Rolls
Taken from Mennonite Foods and Folkways from South Russia
by Norma Jost Voth
Recipe by Justina D. Neufeld
Ukrainian Cabbage Rolls (Holubtsi)
Holubtsi is a Ukrainian word meaning "little pigeons." In addition to
being a popular family dish, Holubtsi are an essential part of the
Ukrainian Christmas Eve meal. Fillings for these cabbage rolls vary, but
the most popular remains a meat and rice combination topped with tomato
sauce and sour cream. Like Varenikje, Holubtsi became popular with
Mennonite families as well. This recipe comes from a woman who lived in
the Ukraine until after World War II. - Mennonite Foods (I always
thought this was called "Guluptsi" - Jo)
- 1 1/2 cups cooked (but firm) rice
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. butter or shortening
- 1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
- 1 egg, slightly beaten (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- dash of sugar
- 1 large head cabbage
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 Tbsp. sour cream
- Cook rice according to directions. Do not overcook; rice should be
firm. Set aside.
- Saute chopped onion in butter until transparent. Add ground beef and
cook until juice has almost been absorbed.
- Add the rice and cool slightly. Mix in the egg and seasonings. Set aside.
- Remove the core from the cabbage. Peel cabbage leaves off and drop
into a pot of boiling, salted water and cook about 5 minutes. The leaves
should be soft and pliable. Drain. When cool, cut off the hard center rib
from each leaf.
- Place a large heaping spoonful of meat and rice mixture onto each leaf,
folding up the sides, the stem and, finally, the top of the leaf. Secure
with a toothpick. (Mom used to wind string around them, didn't she? - Jo)
- Mix tomato sauce and sour cream together. (The amount of sour cream
used in the sauce depends upon personal taste. Many recipes use up to 1/2
cup sour cream with 1 cup tomato sauce.) Pour part of the mixture into a
shallow glass casserole.
- Arrange cabbage rolls in a single layer. Pour remaining tomato sauce
over top. (One recipe suggests cabbage rolls may be protected from
scorching by laying a few leaves over the top of rolls.)
- Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350'F. Serve hot.