Roasted Cabbage Rolls Finland
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Cabbage Rolls #3
Finland
  -   Kaalikääryleet
Makes
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
18
***  
3 hrs  
Yes
A flavorful side or light main course, and rather different from the Polish style cabbage rolls many of us are accustomed to. Traditionally these were made with barley and molasses, as I do here, but today most recipes call for imported rice and corn syrup. These rolls take reheating reasonably well.


2
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1-1/3
1
2
1
1
1/2
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2
1
1/4
------
1/3

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c
#
T
t
t
t
---
T
T
t
---
c
Cabbages (1)
-- Stuffing
Barley, cooked (2)
Beef, lean ground
Cream
Salt
Marjoram, dried
Pepper
-- Coating
Butter
Molasses
Salt
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Cabbage Water
Make   -   (3 hr - 1 hr work)
See the Photo Gallery for pictorial instructions.
  1. Cook BARLEY, preferably in broth for flavor. To get 1-1/3 cup you need to start with a little over 1/2 cup. Be careful in the later stages as barley burns to the bottom of the pan very easily.
  2. 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.
  3. Bring plenty of water to a boil in a pot tall enough to completely submerge a Cabbage. Stir in Vinegar and Salt. Lower one of the Cabbages in (Carefully - see Note-3) 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 the small and torn leaves and some of the water for cooking.
  4. 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).
  5. Take some of the damaged Outer Leaves or leaves too small to stuff, squeeze dry and chop fine to make about 1/2 cup to add to the stuffing.
  6. Grind Beef. Mix together with the Chopped Cabbage and all Stuffing items
  7. 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.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.
  9. Melt Butter and mix with Molasses and Salt.
  10. Select a baking dish or casserole the rolls will fit into fairly snuggly, but not jammed. Line the bottom of the dish with some of the small or torn cabbage leaves. Arrange rolls, then pour in about 1/3 cup of the Cabbage Water around the rolls. Brush the tops of the rolls evenly with the Coating Mixture.
  11. Slide the baking dish into the preheated oven and bake at 350°F/175°C for about 1-3/4 hours. When the tops of the rolls have browned nicely, baste occasionally with juice from the dish (a bulb baster works well here). Add boiling water if necessary to keep the dish from drying out.
NOTES:
  1. Cabbage:   Most recipes call for one large cabbage but I prefer two medium (about 2-1/2 pounds each) so the leaves are more even in size. Two 2-1/2 pound cabbages will yield abut 24 leaves of suitable size.
  2. Barley:   Use white pearled barley for this recipe rather than hulled (brown). The flavor is better with the cabbage, and more importantly, it makes the filling less crumbly.
  3. 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.
  4. 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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