These cabbage rolls are flavored almost entirely by the smoked sausage, onions, and peppers in them. It has a smokey flavor which really compliments the rice and the cabbage its all wrapped in. After cooking, it is smothered in a sweet and tangy tomato sauce. The perfect blend of flavors without the added salt.
- 1 pound Smoked sausage (I used Smoked Alligator and Pork Sausage.)
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 cup uncooked rice
- 2 celery stalks cut into small pieces
- 6 whole cabbage leaves plus extra for lining bottom of pan for cooking.
- Half of a large onion diced into small pieces
- Half of a large onion cut into wedges or strips
- Half green or red bell pepper cut into small pieces
- Half bell pepper cut into strips
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste (I didn't use it at all because the sausage gave tons of flavor)
- 1 - 14.5 ounce can of diced stewed tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar packed
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- Before you begin anything, pull 6 outer leaves off off a large head of cabbage, and try to get them in one piece without tearing them. Freeze the leaves (helps them soften and wilt).
- Take 2 of the 3 sausages and cut into small pieces (1/2 inch or so)
- Slice the remaining sausage into 12 diagonally cut slices (2 for each roll).
- Cut the celery, onions and peppers as required above.
- In a medium sauce pan on medium high heat, add water, sausage that has been cut into small pieces, diced onions and peppers, and celery.
- Cook down until its all cooked and you have a decent natural broth.
- Add rice, reduce heat and simmer until rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed. Set aside.
- In a fry pan on medium high heat, add olive oil, sliced sausage, pepper and onions strips/wedges.
- Fry until onions are completely browned and caramelized and sausage is browned. Set aside.
- Remove frozen cabbage leaves from freezer and thaw by placing in boiling water for 5 - 10 minutes depending on how soft you want your cabbage before cooking.
- Drain and dry cabbage leaves a bit.
- Remove 4-6 additional leaves from the cabbage and line your baking dish bottom.
- With the heart end of each leaf toward you, place a generous spoonful of rice mixture into center of leaf.
- fold each side of the cabbage leaf in to meet in and begin rolling away from yourself.
- Place each filled cabbage roll, seem side down onto leaf lined baking dish.
- Once you have all 6 cabbage rolls in the pan, spoon sliced sausage, onion and peppers that you caramelized onto each roll. You will have 2 slices sausage per roll.
- Place a little water (3/4 cup) into the pan without pouring it over the prepared rolls.
- Cover your baking dish with foil and bake at 375 degrees F for 1 hour.
- While your cabbage rolls are baking, mix all of the sauce ingredients and simmer 15 minutes.
- When everything is done, pour a generous ladle of tomato sauce over cabbage rolls so each plate has plenty of liquid around it.
- Enjoy! :o)
Serve these rolls with a homemade French Baggett