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Stuffed cabbage recipe

We pulled stuffed cabbage out of its 1970s rut and gave it a modern day makeover with bold flavors. Garlic, allspice and the unexpected use of Granny Smith apples add sweetness and tang to this otherwise dull and boring dinner.

Stuffed cabbage

Stuffed cabbage recipe

Serves 6


  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 head green cabbage, cored
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 ounces ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
  • 1 medium green pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 stalks celery, minced
  • 4 cups tomato puree
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, plus more for garnish


  1. In a large nonreactive stockpot, bring chicken stock to boiling. Add cabbage, cook two to three minutes or until outer leaves are bright green and tender. Lift cabbage from stock, and remove outer leaves. Return cabbage to stock; repeat until all leaves are cooked. Reserve two cups cabbage cooking stock. Using a paring knife, remove any thick veins from the middle of each leaf.
  2. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat until foaming. Add onion and garlic, and cook until translucent, about four minutes. Remove from heat, let stand five minutes. In a large bowl, combine onion mixture, rice, salt, beef, pork, parsley, green pepper and celery until well mixed.
  3. Add 1/2 cup rice filling to one cabbage leaf. Fold sides of cabbage over filling, and, starting with the stem end, roll the cabbage up like a burrito. Repeat with remaining leaves and filling.
  4. Line a 5-quart Dutch oven with parchment paper. Transfer stuffed cabbage leaves to Dutch oven.
  5. In a large bowl, combine tomato puree, apples and reserved cabbage stock; pour over cabbage leaves. Bring to boiling, reduce to a simmer. Cook one hour or until cabbage is fork-tender.
  6. Remove cabbage from Dutch oven; transfer to a serving platter. Whisk sour cream into pan juices and pour over stuffed cabbage. Serve warm with additional sour cream.

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