Every culture and cuisine has its own name for this familiar dish. No matter what you call it, our recipe wins rave reviews!
Bring one and a half cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the rice and simmer five minutes. Turn off the flame and allow the rice to rest, covered until all the water is absorbed. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a sauté pan and sauté the diced onions until translucent. Remove from heat.
Place the ground beef in a bowl and add the onions, rice, eggs, garlic and ketchup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix just until combined. Don’t overmix or the meat will be tough.
Heat the oil for the sauce in an eight- to 10-quart stockpot and sauté the sliced onions.
Holding a cabbage leaf in your hand, place approximately two tablespoons of meat over the rib and roll up the leaf to enclose the meat. As you roll, tuck in the ends to keep the filling in place. Continue making cabbage rolls until all the leaves are used. Place in the pot with the sautéed onions, seam side down. Layer the rolls in your pot with the shredded cabbage and the sauerkraut from the jar.
Pour in the tomato sauce and water. Add sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Add the bay leaves and cook over low heat for two hours, adding water if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Stuffed cabbage is great reheated—so there’s no need to make it fresh.