Fratelli Perata Winery

Stuffed Cabbage

When we first produced our Cabernet Franc we found it went well with stuffed cabbage (who could have guessed?). Brad, long time-customer and now long-time friend and web person remembered what his grandmother (Bubby) would make and this is what he now makes. Adapted from the International Deli Cookbook by Judy Zeidler.

Tomato Sauce (see below)                  1 small potato, peeled and grated
1 large head cabbage                         1/4 cup cooked white rice
1 pound lean ground beef                    1 egg, lightly beaten
1 small onion, finely chopped               Salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced

Pry out the white core of the cabbage.  This makes it easier to peel later. Put the cabbage on a rack over simmering water, cover and steam until soft enough to separate the leaves and fold them without tearing or breaking.  12 to 15 minutes. Don't over steam the cabbage. You can then cool it in cold water if you want. (NOTE: while it is easiest to use the large leaves, you can combine smaller leaves if they are sturdy enough.) While the cabbage is steaming, prepare the sauce (recipe below)

In a large bowl, combine the beef, onion, garlic, potato, rice and egg and blend well. Season with salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

While you can do a leaf at a time, it's easier to prepare all the leaves you can on a large flat surface since that way you can best portion out the filling. Put a portion of the meat mixture on a leaf, fold over the ends, then roll it up to enclose the filling. Take all the filled rolls and put them seam side down in a baking dish. Cover the rolls completely with the sauce. Bake until the meat is cooked through and cabbage is tender.  About 1 to 1 1/2 hours, though it could cook faster depending on your oven.

Serves 4. Most definitely serve with Fratelli Perata Cabernet Franc.

Tomato Sauce

2 TB olive oil                                               1/2 can (4oz) tomato sauce
1 small onion, chopped                                2 TB ketchup
1/2  stalk celery, chopped                            1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and diced       3/8ths cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 TB minced fresh parsley                            Juice of two small lemons
1 14 oz can chopped tomatoes with liquid      Salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan, saute the onions, garlic, celery, bell pepper and parsley until tender. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to boil, then simmer for about 5 minutes.