Crockpot Cabbage Rolls
Romanian cuisine is really about meat and potatoes, but if there’s one thing that we’re known for, that would be our cabbage rolls! Cabbage rolls are something I usually make for the holidays, because that’s what my mom always does so I associate cabbage rolls with Christmas or Easter. However, sometimes I do miss cabbage rolls and I’ll make them throughout the year.
What is it about cabbage rolls that makes them so world famous and so crave-able? These little morsels are somehow so perfect, with a filling made up of moist ground pork, perfectly fluffy rice, all wrapped up in cabbage leaves that are tender to the bite. These rolls are more than just a side dish, they are a delicious meal all on their own.
What Makes Romanian Rolls So Special?
The main difference is that we pretty much always use sour cabbage which obviously flavors the rolls and makes them a bit saltier. For this reason I don’t use a lot of salt in the meat mixture. I also like using sour cabbage because the leaves are already soft and it makes it easy to make the rolls. If you use regular cabbage you have to blanch the cabbage yourself, see the notes section in the recipe for instructions on how to do this.
The other piece that separates Romanian cabbage rolls from the rest is that we add some kind of smoked meat.We don’t add it to the filling, instead we place it over top the rolls to float in and flavor the tomato juice our rolls will cook in. This time I used smoked bacon. Now I’ve got your attention, hey?
1 Head of Cabbage
3 Cups Tomato Juice
1 8oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 C. uncooked brown or white rice
1 envelope Onion soup mix
1 lb. Ground Turkey or Extra Lean Ground Beef
1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese
Peel 8-12 big Leaves off the Cabbage head and place in a microwave safe dish. Cover in about an inch of water and microwave on high for 2 min.
In a mixing bowl combine tomato sauce, egg, turkey or beef, rice, onion soup, and cheese, and mix with fingers until well combined.
Grease your crock pot with some Pam cooking spray.
Carefully place a ball of the meat mixture into the middle of each cabbage leaf and roll up into a ball, and place on the bottom of your crock pot seam side down. Do this until all your meat mixture is gone.
After you have all your cabbage rolls in the crock pot, pour the 3 cups of Tomato Juice on top.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours.