Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Sukkot (also known as the Feast of Booths) celebrates the bountiful fall harvest and the beginning of autumn. Some observers build the traditional "sukka," a temporary outdoor shelter or booth reminiscent of the desert dwelling places used when the Israelites were delivered from Egypt. Today, these shelters are festively decorated with fresh produce and used for eating or sleeping during this holiday.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium cabbages (about 5 pounds)
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup brown rice, uncooked
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (16 ounce) can sauerkraut, drained and divided
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar, divided
  • 1 (46 ounce) can tomato juice

Instructions

  1. Freeze cabbages for 8 hours; thaw. Separate leaves, and set aside.
  2. Cook onion in oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until crisp-tender.
  3. Add rice, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cool rice mixture slightly.
  4. Combine rice mixture, ground beef, salt and pepper.
  5. Reserving smaller cabbage leaves, spoon about 1/4 cup beef mixture in center of each large cabbage leaf. Fold left and right sides of leaf over, and roll up, beginning at bottom. Repeat procedure with remaining large cabbage leaves.
  6. Chill rolls overnight, if desired, or proceed immediately.
  7. Arrange reserved small cabbage leaves in bottom of a large Dutch oven or stockpot.
  8. Spoon half of sauerkraut and half of brown sugar over small cabbage leaves.
  9. Top with half of cabbage rolls, seam side down.
  10. Repeat layers with remaining sauerkraut, brown sugar and cabbage rolls.
  11. Pour tomato juice over assembled layers; bring to a boil, and simmer, covered, 2 hours or until rice is done.
  12. Serve immediately.

Yields about 2 1/2 dozen cabbage rolls.

Instead of freezing cabbages, you may cover them with boiling water in a large stockpot and let stand 10 minutes.

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