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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hungarian Stuffed Peppers and Cabbage Rolls

My Hungarian Grandpap was a good cook!  His repertoire wasn't huge, but what he made, he made well and he always let me help.  Stuffed Peppers and "Pigs in the Blanket" were one of my favorites growing up.  This is my Pap's recipe, simple, but so good!  Serious comfort food. 

  • 8 medium sized green peppers
  • 1 small head of cabbage 
  • 2 lb. ground beef 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 cups rice (plain old long grain is fine)
  • 2 28 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes 
  • 1 large white onion, chopped; reserve 1/2 for sauce, 1/2 for meat mixture
  • salt, pepper to taste 
Place the head of clean cabbage in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes or so.  You just want it soft enough to peel off the leaves without tearing them too much.  Set the head of cabbage in a colander to cool.
Cut tops of peppers and take out the seeds and chop the tops for later use. In mixing bowl, place the ground meat, 1/2 of the chopped onion, raw eggs, washed rice (uncooked), salt and pepper. Mix well ...with your hands!

Stuff the peppers but don't over-stuff them, the rice will expand.  Place the peppers in the pressure cooker (or in a large stock pot).   

Peel off a cabbage leaf and lay it out with the core end facing you. Place about 1/8 c of the meat mixture at the core end and begin to roll it up. After rolling it up halfway, tuck the outer parts of the leaf in and continue to roll. Once rolled, used your thumb to push each end down into the meat mixture to secure it. Place each roll in the kettle with the peppers.  You'll have cabbage left over, chop it up and add it to the stock pot, or save it and make fried cabbage and noodles tomorrow!

If you have left over meat mixture, roll into meat balls and place in the kettle.  In fact, I typically make SURE I have extra meat mixture...the meatballs are so yum!

Add the tomatoes, onions and chopped tops of peppers, chopped cabbage and any extra meatballs into the kettle on top of the peppers and cabbage rolls

For conventional stove-top cooking, cover and slowly cook for about 2 hours.

For the pressure cooker, bring to pressure and cook for 20-25 minutes.  Remove cooker from stove, place entire cooker in sink and run cold water on it to normalize the temp.  Take the lid off...voila...tastes like you cooked for hours!

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