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Cabbage Rolls, Pastor Jim

from the kitchen of Pastor Jim Cieszynski

1 large head of cabbage
1 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes, cut up
1 14.5 oz. can of Stewed Italian Recipe tomatoes
1 14 oz. can of sauerkraut*

*Pastor Jim tends to stay away from the sweet sauerkraut, I loved these with Frank's Sweet Bavarian style kraut, but you don't taste sauerkraut, it just gives this recipe a wonderful tang.

1 1/2 pounds of hamburger
1 packet onion and mushroom soup mix
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 to 2 cups cooked rice, white or brown
1/2 cup picante sauce, medium to hot, according to your taste
a scant 1/2 cup of water

Fill a large saucepan 1/2 way full of salted water, bring to a boil.
With a sharp knife, core the cabbage, dig deep so the steam gets all the way up in the center.

Gently drop cabbage, core side down, into the water and simmer until the leaves are soft and pliable, about 10 minutes.

Take the cabbage out of the water and let it stand until it cools enough to peel the leaves off.
One at time, gently, keeping them whole, peel off leaves and stack on a plate.

While cabbage is cooking and cooling, brown hamburger and drain. (Or make filling as you would meatloaf, Pastor Jim says no need to brown burger unless to drain off excess fat.) Add the rest of filling ingredients to meat and mix, adding just enough water so mixture is firm but sticks together.

In the bottom of a large pot or a 15 X 10 inch glass baking dish, put a layer of sauerkraut and some of the tomatoes. (if using the pot to cook stove-top, add a little water)

Now, you can use a ice cream scoop, tablespoon, or your hands, put one scoop of the meat mixture in the center of each leaf.
Fold both sides in toward center, then both ends in, making a square package. You may insert a toothpick to hold them together or just carefully lay them in the dish or pot, seam side down.
Do warn your friends and family if you use the toothpicks, don't want to eat those!

Continue to fill and fold the cabbage rolls until meat is all used.
Cover with the remainder of the tomatoes and sauerkraut.

If using a pot, cover with a lid and simmer for about an hour.
If using a baking dish, cover tightly with foil and back for 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees.

Serve with mashed potatoes. Hope you enjoy and God’s blessing on your meal.


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