Created by Kittencal on August 9, 2011
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 2: Set oven rack to second-lowest position.
Step 3: Grease a large roasting pan (the cabbage rolls will not fit into a 13x9-inch pan)
Step 4: Make certain that the cabbage heads are completely thawed before using for this (to do this remove the heads of cabbage from freezer and place in a bowl then thaw at room temperature overnight).
Step 5: Line the bottom of the roasting pan with a thin layer of cabbage leaves, since you will not be using the smaller leaves from the cabbage heads just use them for lining your pan (due to the long cooking time this will protect the rolls from over browning/burning in the pan while cooking).
Step 6: Using a small sharp paring knife CAREFULLY remove the hard core/stem from the center of the head/s then remove the leaves from the cabbage, you may need to keep slicing off some middle part to remove the leaves easier, carefully remove the leaves off of the head/s.
Step 7: Using your hands gently squeeze out 2 to 3 leaves at a time to remove excess water, then place the leaves in a large bowl; set aside.
Step 8: For the meat filling: using clean hands mix all ingredients together for the meat filling in large bowl until thoroughly combined.
Step 9: For the sauce, in a large bowl combine all sauce ingredients together until blended (adjust the salt and pepper to taste).
Step 10: Using a large spoon or a ladle drizzle half of the sauce over the leaves in the pan then spread out to cover the leaves (does not have to cover the leaves completely).
Step 11: Stuff the cabbage leaves tightly but carefully with the meat mixture (I use about 1/3-cup for larger leaves).
Step 12: Roll up tightly and place the rolls in a single layer on top of the cabbage leaves and sauce in the baking dish.
Step 13: Drizzle the remaining sauce over the rolls (using a butter knife separate the rolls slightly to insure the sauce settles between and around each roll).
Step 14: Sprinkle about 1/2 cup or a little more sauerkraut over the sauce (if using).
Step 15: If your using a large roaster pan you will not need to place on a baking sheet but if your using a smaller pan I suggest to place the pan on a large jelly-roll pan to catch any spills. Cover the pan/s tightly with heavy-duty foil.
Step 16: Bake at 350 degrees F for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until the cabbage is very tender (the cooking time will vary depending on how thick the cabbage leaves are(I usually check after about 1 hour).