cabbage heads

What You'll Need:

  • 1 large head cabbage
  • 3-4 cups of sauerkraut
  • ¼ pound smoked ham or bacon, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 5 cups stock, either beef or vegetable
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Sour cream for garnish


  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • ½ cup pre-cooked long-grain rice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 onion, minced very finely
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons paprika


Set a large stockpot ¾ full of water onto your stove above high heat and bring to a boil. Core your head of cabbage at its bottom and place into the boiling water. Let it boil for 5 minutes. Once 5 minutes is up, remove the cabbage and dunk into a bowl of ice water to "shock" it to stop it from cooking. Remove it from the bucket of ice water and set it aside in a bowl to let it drain of water.

In a large bowl, mix your rice, ground pork, onion, garlic and egg together. Once everything has been mixed, add your black pepper and paprika and mix again until spices are evenly distributed

Once the cabbage is drained, begin peeling leaves off the cabbage. Be very careful not to rip the leaves so your rolling can be done more easily. Place one cabbage leaf on a flat surface like a cutting board. Cut and remove a small part of the spine to flatten the leaf more and make it easier to roll around the filling

Take a large tablespoonful of filling and place it in the middle of your leaf. Slowly roll and tighten the cabbage around the filling, folding the sides of the leaf into the middle first, and then rolling the leaf up until it’s wrapped around itself entirely. Repeat until all cabbage leaves are stuffed and rolled.

Take your large stockpot and create a bottom layer of half your coarsely chopped onions and sauerkraut. Next, layer the cabbage rolls on top of the bottom layer. Add another layer of your remaining sauerkraut and onions on top of the cabbage rolls. Add your smoked ham or bacon on top the sauerkraut and onion layer. Slowly pour your stock into the stockpot, submerging all the ingredients. If your stock doesn't submerge everything, use water as needed. Add your bay leaves and tomato paste. Stir the tomato paste into the liquid.

Bring your stockpot and the stock to a boil over high heat, and then reduce to a simmer for 1 hour. After 1 hour, take the stockpot off the heat and remove the cabbage rolls from the stockpot. Serve your rolls with some of the cooked stock as well as sour cream on top or on the side. You may also want to sprinkle on more paprika or use a pepper paste.