Dish of Cabbage Rolls Norway
(click to enlarge)

Cabbage Rolls #4
Norway
  -   Kålruletter
Makes:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
20 rolls  
***
2 hr  
Yes

This simple, all-meat version of cabbage rolls is tasty, filling and economical. I have taken some liberties with the pattern recipe regarding the sauce and cooking method (see Note-5), and especially in handling the cabbages (see Note-4) and instructions. This dish reheats well.





2
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1
2
1
2/3
1/3
1/3
2-2/3
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2
2
1/4
2
1/8
1
1-1/2
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#
oz
c
t
t
t
t
---
c
T
c
T
t
t
t
----
Cabbages (1)
-- Stuffing
Beef, ground
Bread, French
Milk
Pepper, black
Ginger powder
Nutmeg
Salt
--Sauce
Stock (2)
Flour
Water, cold
Tomato sauce
Cayenne
Sugar
Salt
-- Serve with
Boiled Potatoes

Make   -   (1-1/2 hr - 1 hr work)
See Photo Gallery for method.
  1. Core CABBAGES. It is very important to remove the core completely so boiling water can get at the stem ends of the leaves, and for ease of stripping off the leaves.
  2. Bring plenty of water to a boil in a pot tall enough to completely submerge a Cabbage. Lower one of the Cabbages in (Carefully - see Note-4) and hold it down with a wooden spoon in the core hole for about 5 minutes. Swish it around a bit, and when the outer two leaves start to drift away, it's ready. With the burner still on high, hold the Cabbage steady with the wooden spoon. Take tongs and start peeling away the outermost leaves. Hold each by the stem, gently shaking it loose and lifting it out. Peel until the leaves are getting too small to stuff. Lift out the remaining cabbage and set it aside. Now do the other Cabbage. Keep small and torn leaves and some of the water for cooking.
  3. Place each softened cabbage leaf outside up on your cutting board and shave the thick central rib thinner to make the leaf more flexible (see Photo Gallery).
  4. Grind BEEF, if not purchased ground. It should be ground quite fine, perhaps two or three times in a home meat grinder.
  5. Pour MILK over bread and mix in Spices. Mix until smooth (I run the bread with half the milk in a min-prep processor). Massage into BEEF until very evenly distributed.
  6. Place each leaf inside up, and place a gob of stuffing (be generous, this isn't hors d'oeuvres) near the stem end. Give it one turn, Fold the sides in and roll up. Keep chilled until ready to cook.
  7. Make the SAUCE:   (you can do this while the rolls are cooking). Bring Stock to a simmer. In a bowl, mix cold Water and Flour until evenly mixed. Whip in simmering stock, a little at a time until the mix is nice and smooth, and too loose to form lumps. Whip it into the Stock until evenly distributed. Simmer for about 7 minutes, then stir in all the remaining Sauce items.
  8. Line the bottom of your chosen cooking vessel with the small or torn cabbage leaves. Proceed appropriately as described in Note-3, placing the Cabbage Rolls flap side down.
  9. With Tongs, move the Cabbage Rolls to your serving dish and pour the Sauce over. Serve hot with boiled Potatoes.
NOTES:
  1. Cabbage:   Most recipes call for one large cabbage but I prefer two medium (about 2-1/2 pounds each) which will be safer to handle, and the leaves are more even in size. Two 2-1/2 pound cabbages will yield about 20 to 24 leaves of suitable size.
  2. Stock:   I prefer a nice strong beef stock (which I usually have on hand). The pattern sauce recipe used some broth from a casserole, some potato cooking water and a bouillon cube (see Note-5).
  3. Method:   There are several ways you can cook the rolls.
  4. Danger!   You've got a big pot of boiling water and you're dealing with a big, heavy, misbehaving lump of cabbage. Most methods ask you to remove the cabbage to peel the leaves. This is dangerous as the cabbage is very heavy coming out, and any slip results in a tsunami of scalding hot water. My method, described in the instructions, is far safer, as the cabbage is tiny by time it is taken out. It is also quicker and produces the best quality, evenly cooked leaves. Back when I followed other people's instructions, I used a strong skimmer purchased from a restaurant supply (see Photo Gallery) to lower the Cabbage in and lift it out, steadied with a wooden spoon.
  5. Adaptions:   I have taken some liberties with the pattern recipe, particularly in handling the cabbages and cooking the rolls. Peeling leaves off a raw cabbage is slow and results in a lot of torn leaves. Boiling a whole cabbage, core in, and pulling it out several times to separate the leaves is dangerous, slow, and yields a lot of unevenly cooked leaves. She served with a plain white sauce or browned butter. I chose instead the sauce she gave for the next recipe in her book, the same beef and cabbage cooked as a layered casserole.
  6. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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