Cabbage leaves stuffed with a ground beef, pork and rice filling pressure cooked in a flavorful tomato sauce until they’re tender and ready to eat in minutes instead of hours.
Today’s post is a guest post from a loyal Pressure Cooking Today reader and a sweet, virtual friend. Carol’s been pressure cooking for years using a stove-top pressure cooker, and now loves pressure cooking with her electric pressure cooker.
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Stuffed cabbage rolls are something we love, but I don’t make them often because they take such a long time to bake–a good hour and a half to 2 hours. What if I could make them in the pressure cooker? That would save me a kaboodle of time. I grabbed my go-to recipe and gave it a try.
One of the things I love about this recipe is that I can get a lot of the prep work done for these early in the day. It makes putting it all together to cook fast and easy.
I used a mixture of lean ground beef and ground pork in these, but I’ve also made them with just ground beef and they’re delicious. I use whatever rice I have in the cupboard. I’ve even used leftover rice rather than cook a new batch. The filling is VERY forgiving.
The original sauce that I’ve made in the past uses tomato soup. It’s good, but I wanted to make a sauce that would give me plenty of liquid for the pressure cooker. I found this sauce in one of my pressure cooker cookbooks and adapted it to suit our tastes.
I got 15 average size cabbage rolls out of this recipe. The amount you get will depend on how large the cabbage is that you use. Just make sure not to overfill the pressure cooker with the rolls. It’s better to cook them in 2 batches than run the risk of the pressure cooker not coming to pressure because it’s too full. Once I stack the rolls in the pressure cooker and pour the sauce over the top of them, I take a long handled spatula and gently press all along the outer edge of the rolls to allow the sauce to run down the sides of them. I also add some of the cooked chopped cabbage left from the head to the sauce.
Since we like our sauce on the thicker side, once the rolls were cooked, I removed them from the pressure cooker to a platter, selected “Sauté”, brought the sauce to a boil and thickened it with a little cornstarch and water. The sauce was then poured over the rolls and dinner was served.
All it took was 18 minutes of cook time and 15 minutes under natural pressure to give us the most AMAZING stuffed cabbage rolls I’ve ever made. They’re tender and flavorful and that touch of Worcestershire really adds a nice pop to the homemade tomato sauce. This is the ONLY way I’m going to be making stuffed cabbage rolls from now on.
If you love stuffed cabbage, but don’t like all the time it takes to cook them, let your pressure cooker do the work. You’ll be glad you did!
- 1 cup brown or long grain white rice
- 1 large head cabbage
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced then "pasted"
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
- 3/4 lb. ground pork*
- *You can substitute all ground beef for the pork if you prefer
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced, then "pasted"
- 2 (14 1/2 oz. each) cans diced tomatoes with their juice
- 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 2 teaspoon low sodium instant beef bouillon
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire black pepper or freshly ground black pepper
- 3-4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoon cold water
- Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- Cook the rice according to the package directions. Fluff with a fork and set the pan aside.
- Fill a large deep pot half full of water. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Remove the core from the cabbage and place it, core side down, in the boiling water. Cover and let the head of cabbage boil for 7-8 minutes. Remove the softened outer leaves and place them on a plate to cool. Cover the pan and cook the cabbage for 6-8 minutes, checking and removing the outer leaves as they soften, placing them on the plate to cool. When you get down to the center of the cabbage and the leaves are too small for rolls, cover the pan and cook the cabbage until crisp-tender. When done, remove the cabbage from the heat, coarsely chop it and set it aside.
- For the sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to turn light golden brown. Add the garlic and cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, vinegar, bouillon, garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire (or black) pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well, taste and adjust the seasoning. Remove from the heat. Stir in some of the chopped cooked cabbage. Set the sauce aside.
- For the filling, in a large bowl, beat the egg, then stir in the onion, garlic, salt, pepper and cooked rice. Add the ground beef and pork and mix with a wooden spoon or your hands until all the ingredients are well combined.
- Lay one of the cabbage leaves flat on a work surface with the stem end in front of you. Take 2 generous tablespoonfuls of the filling and place it at the bottom of the cabbage leaf. Fold the 2 sides in and roll away from you, making sure filling stays in the center and away from the top edge, until you reach the top of the leaf. You can secure the roll with a toothpick if you like-I don't find it necessary. They stay together quite well once rolled, and if they do start to unroll, they can be easily tucked back together.
- Repeat this with the remaining filling and cabbage leaves. I usually get 15 rolls out of the batch of filling.
- Place the rack in the bottom of the pressure cooker. Pour in 1 cup water. Place 7-8 cabbage rolls on the rack. Cover the rolls with about 1/3 of the sauce. Add a second layer of rolls to the pressure cooker, alternating the direction of the second layer. Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the rolls. After adding the last bit of sauce, take a plastic spatula and gently go around the outer edge of the rolls to allow some of the sauce to drip down around the rolls. Make sure not to overfill the pressure cooker. It's easy enough to cook these in 2 batches, if necessary.
- Lock the lid in place, choose High pressure and set 18 minutes cooking time. When the beep sounds, turn off the pressure cooker, unplug it, wait for 15 minutes, then use Quick Pressure to release any remaining steam.
- Gently remove the cabbage rolls from the pressure cooker to a platter.
- Select "Sauté" and bring the sauce to a boil.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and cold water until smooth and the cornstarch is dissolved. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the sauce and cook until thickened, stirring constantly.
- Serve the sauce over the cabbage rolls. Makes about 15 rolls.
Tip: Love this suggestion from Donna: “I do one thing differently that is unique and easy. The night before core your cabbage deeply and then place in freezer overnight, no need to wrap. When ready to make rolls run cabbage under hot water or let sit in large pot hot water. Remove leaves gently. Leaves will defrost and are so much easier to work with then boiling & dealing with a hot head of cabbage, just remember to core & freeze night before.”