The Kitchn: Stuffed cabbage recipe is weeknight-friendly
1/3 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
1 large egg
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground beef
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Prep the cabbage: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, remove 10 to 12 whole outer leaves from the cabbage by cutting them off the core. (Reserve the remaining cabbage for another use.) Add the leaves to the boiling water and blanch until wilted, about 2 minutes. Drain and transfer the leaves to a paper towel-lined baking sheet; set aside.
Make the sauce: Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes, vinegar, raisins (if using), brown sugar, salt and pepper, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors meld, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the filling and stuff the cabbage.
Make the filling: Place all the ingredients except the beef in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Add the beef and gently mix it in, making sure not to compact the meat. Divide the mixture into 8 portions (about a scant 1/3 cup each), then form each portion into a ball.
Working with one leaf at a time, place a ball on the center of the leaf. Fold in the sides of the leaf tightly over the filling, completely covering the filling. Place seam-side down on a baking sheet or large plate. Repeat with the remaining leaves, overlapping 2 leaves as needed if they are too small (you will not use all the leaves).
When the sauce is ready, place the stuffed cabbage seam-side down in single layer in the sauce. Spoon some of the sauce over the top of the stuffed cabbage so that they're covered. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat undisturbed until the rice in the filling is cooked through, about 35 minutes.
Recipe notes: The sauce can be made and the cabbage stuffed and stored in the refrigerator up to one day ahead. Store separately and bring the sauce to a simmer before adding the stuffed cabbage to the pan. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.