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Zelné Závitky (Stuffed Cabbage Leaves)

Czechs as well as many other ethnic groups make a version of stuffed cabbage. This recipe is adapted from one that appears in the Czech Heritage Cookbook (Burleson County Czech Heritage Museum, 1994).


  •  2 T. vegetable oil, divided 
  • 1 medium onion, chopped and divided 
  • 1 lb. ground pork 
  • 1 tsp. salt 
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper 
  • 2 T. uncooked rice 
  • 5 oz. chicken broth or water 
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten 
  • 1 small head cabbage 
  • 1 c. tomato juice 
  • 1 c. cream 
  • 1 T. flour

Sauté 1/2 of the chopped onion in 1 T. oil. Stir in ground pork, salt, and pepper; cover, and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Drain well. Add rice and broth; cover, and cook over low heat about 10 minutes, or until meat is tender. Remove from heat, add egg; mix well, and set aside to cool.

Remove 8 cabbage leaves, and drop into boiling water. Cook a few minutes; drain well. Place about 1/8 of the pork-rice mixture on each cabbage leaf, dividing mixture evenly. Roll up cabbage leaves, tucking in ends; fasten with toothpicks.

Shred finely remaining cabbage. Sauté cabbage and remaining onion in remaining oil for about 5 minutes, or until cabbage is soft. Spread 1/2 of the sautéed mixture in a greased, large baking pan or 4-qt. casserole dish. Place cabbage rolls on top, and cover with remaining sautéed cabbage mixture. Pour tomato juice over top of cabbage; cover, and bake in 350° oven for 20 minutes.

Mix cream and flour. Remove dish from oven; pour cream mixture over top of cabbage. Cover, and bake 10 minutes more, or until cabbage is tender. Yield: 4-6 servings. 

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