Well – Passover is almost upon us and I figured I’d start with an old family recipe. Every year my grandmother would make the soup, my aunt would make the matzoh balls and Mom would make stuffed cabbage… Personally, I don’t like the cabbage – so mom would always make twice the meat, half stuffed and half unstuffed – and I tried it without the cabbage once but it wasn’t the same. If you really don’t like cabbage, line the pot with some cleaned cabbage leaves – you’ll get the same flavor in the sauce without wrapping the meat balls.
- 1 Large Head Cabbage – separated into leaves and softened in boiling water
- 1 kg Chopped Beef
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 1 egg
- ½ cup ketchup
- 2 12 oz (330 g.) cans tomato sauce
- ¼ tsp sour salt (lemon salt)
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- Mix meat, onion, ketchup and egg in a large bowl until the mixture is uniform.
- Form balls out of the mixture, place each ball into a cabbage leaf and close the leaf around the ball. Place in pot.
- Pour the rest of the ingredients into the pot.
- Partially cover and bring to a boil.
- Let simmer for 1 hour and taste. If too sweet, add sour salt. If too sour, add brown sugar. Continue to simmer for about 10 minutes after adjusting flavor and taste again. If the taste is right, it’s ready.
As I said – cabbage has to be in the pot for it to taste right. If you don’t want to wrap the meatballs you can either put some cabbage leaves at the bottom or chop the cabbage up and put it in – I’ve done both and I don’t mind the cabbage so much chopped up. I tend to make a lot of this at a time and freeze it – it’s great as an appetizer or served over rice or mashed potatoes as a main dish. This is a copy of my mother’s recipe – you can just as easily sub the canned tomato sauce for homemade using the recipe I gave a few weeks ago… If you decide to use canned, we always used Hunts and that’s the flavor I recognize from my childhood (I always go out of my way to get it since it’s hard to find in Israel…)