Hungarian Soured Stuffed Cabbage


Hungarian Soured Stuffed Cabbage, Töltött Káposzta (tul-tot kah-poh-sta)
per Mom, Anna(Kovacs) Kreiner from Debreczen, Hajdú-Bihar, Hungary.

To Sour the Cabbage:

We use one(1) or two(2) glass jars with glass lids.  We have two old one gallon TOM's glass peanut jars Mom gave us.  I might add, we make a bunch!  We use at least two heads of cabbage.

2 cabbages
1 big pot of boiling water
3 or 4 tablespoons salt
1 bunch dried dill weed
1 slice white bread toasted - each jar

Select cabbage that is light in weight, which does not to mean the smallest!

Boil water in a pot with three(3) or four(4) tablespoons of salt.  This water will be used to fill the glass jars with the cabbage inside, so boil enough.
Cut around the core of cabbage to loosen the leaves.  While holding on to the cabbage with a fork stuck in the core, twist the cabbage around in the boiling water just enough to loosen the leaves, don't cook it!, a few leaves at a time, until you get to the little leaves that you can't use for stuffing.  Keep the little leaves whole, and save it to sour, and to chop up later like sauerkraut.  Trim the stem/vein flat on the cabbage leaves for easier rolling.  Turn off the boiling salt water and save.

Put some dried dill weed in the bottom of the glass jars.  Lay the cabbage leaves in the jar.  Usually one whole cabbage will fit. The whole little leaves you had left, place on top of the cabbage.  Put some more dill weed on top of that.  Fill the jar with the salt water to the top, just above the cabbage.  
Note: If you are having trouble laying the leaves in the jar because they seem to hard or start breaking, pour a little bit of the hot salt water on top of the leaves.
Now, toast a piece of WHITE bread for each jar, and place the toast on top of the cabbage, and cover jar with the glass lid.  The white toast is what makes it sour.  Set the jars of cabbage on the kitchen counter, and let it sour for at least two days.  Usually three days is correct, but we have found in Florida, it sometimes sours quicker.
Note: Taking the toast off, stops the souring.  We usually start this Thursday evening, and stuff the cabbage Sunday afternoon.
Stuffing the Cabbage:
Save the sour water.  Chop up the whole little leaves you saved, into something that looks like sauerkraut, and place half of it on the bottom of your large cooking pot.
Mix together in a bowl:
2 lbs of ground chuck, or originally it was pork.
1 cup of rice. (be sure it's not instant rice).
Note: Not sure how much of the Pepper, Salt, and I guess according to your wife just does it...!
The last time we used three heads of cabbage, and had to purchase more meat.  So, keep this in mind!

2 8oz cans of tomato sauce (used later)

Place some of the mix on a cabbage leaf, start to roll it, and then flip one side over, like a burrito, finish rolling tightly to the end, then tuck in the other end with your fingers.  This way, you will not need toothpicks!
Stack the cabbages in the large cooking pot.  Place the other half of the chopped up little leaves on top.  Add the sour water from the glass jars, just enough to cover the cabbages.  Add two(2) 8oz cans of tomato sauce over the top, and cover.
After you get the stove hot enough to start bubbling the cabbages, turn the stove down to low or warm to simmer for 1 ˝ to 2 hours or so....!
We're hungry!  

Rick & Kim Kreiner