What you need:
1 big loose head of white cabbage1 lb ground beef, pork or lamb
1 + 1 onions, chopped
1/2 cup rice pre-boiled in 2 cups of water
1 small carrot, finely grated
2 big ripe tomatoes, diced
3 tbsp olive oil
Red pepper (optional)
Filtered water, about 1 - 1 1/4 cups
1 big pot to boil cabbage
1 frying pan
1 Dutch oven or big shallow pot with lid
Preparation time: about 2 hours
Feeds 6-8 people, depending on appetite
Method:To be able to wrap meat in cabbage leaves you have to slightly boil the cabbage to soften it.
In a big pot bring water almost to a boil. Cut (slightly, but do not tear off from the head) a few cabbage leaves near the root and place the whole cabbage head in hot water. It should be covered completely. If your pot is not big enough, you have to carefully turn the cabbage head to soften all sides. Let it boil on low heat for a few minutes, then using two forks, turn the cabbage head in a handy position to cut off the leaves that are already softened. Set them on a separate dish to cool. Do this with the rest of the leaves while you can: the smallest leaves are too wrinkled to be used for rolls, so the center part of cabbage head is usually discarded. My cabbage yielded 19 usable pieces.
Rinse uncooked rice in cold water, drain, and boil for 7 min in 2 cups of water - rinse in cold water and drain, then use in the filling.Prepare the filling: mix well meat, rice, 1 chopped onion, salt, black pepper, carrot, 1/2 cup water.
If there are holes in a leaf, don't worry, just cover them from the inside with leftover cabbage leaves - mend them, so to speak. Nobody will ever notice. :)
Make sure that the final flap is not hanging, but is nicely bent.
sizes and shades of green , the biggest will hold about 2 tb spoonfuls of meat, the smallest 1 tb spoonful. You can put more meat or less, but keep in mind that you have meat and a side in one here, so I'd prefer more cabbage. But tastes differ.
Some people also serve the rolls with potatoes, but to my taste they seem unnecessary here.
Traditionally the rolls are just boiled, but this is how they were cooked in my family. Caramelized cabbage gives the dish a completely different aroma and taste.
Fill the pot, sprinkle with salt, add about 1/2 - 2/3 cup boiling water, cover, put on medium to low heat, and simmer for about 1 hour. The cabbage must be completely soft, and the meat will be ready by that time. Try not to overcook cabbage.
Three small golubtsy did not fit in my pot - I had to cook them separately.
Serve them hot with chilled sour cream atop.