Betsey’s Stuffed Cabbage

Traditional comfort food for a cold rainy day. Boil a cored small green cabbage in salt water until leaves are soft and easily peeled off. Pour cold water over leaves in a colander and let drain. Keep unused leaves and cabbage core for soups.

Coat bottom of a stock pot with a little olive oil over medium high heat. Sauté one large onion, chopped; 3 carrots, chopped; 1 orange, sectioned and chopped; 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped. Brown lightly. Add 1 8-oz. can drained sauerkraut, 1 can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped. Sprinkle whole mixed peppercorns to taste and mix all ingredients together. Boil then reduce to simmer.

In a bowl, season 1 1/2 lbs. ground meat of your choice with dried onions, salt. Add 1 egg beaten lightly and 1/3 cup rice. Mix together. Fill larger drained cabbage leaves with meat mixture, making balls that fit into the stem side and wrapping the leaves around and under so they stay closed around the meat. Place stuffed leaves on top of the simmering vegetables so that they are tightly packed and stay closed, stem side down. Push them into the veggies and sprinkle liberally with paprika. Cover and simmer for one hour.

Dissolve 12 small or 6 large ginger snap cookies into the juice of a large lemon. Pour on top of the cabbages. Cover and simmer for another hour.

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