These are one of my favorite make-ahead meals. It looks long but it's really easy. I promise!! Admittedly, I made these months ago and have worked my way through all but one of the frozen portions. The weather isn't exactly conducive to this type of meal anymore but if I don't post it now, I never will!
2 x 14 oz cans Tomato - If you use whole tomatoes I would break them up first
Onion, garlic, herbs
I use good quality pureed tomatoes or canned whole tomatoes that I process slightly with a hand blender. If you have whole tomatoes, reserve some of the juice for the filling. Add a little olive oil to a sauce pan. Add your onion, cook a minute or two, stirring. Add the garlic and keep it moving for another minute, then add herbs, toss, and add the tomatoes. Cook for about 20 minutes. *Put a large pot of water on for you cabbage now.
Ground meat - beef, pork, veal or any combination of the above. I've used a chicken/beef mix to keep it lean and it's delicious! (~2 lbs total)
Rice - white or basmati work well, uncooked (palmful, about 1/2 cup)
herbs - dill, oregano, basil (I like fresh dill but dried basil & oregano. It's your choice)
onion - very finelt chopped (~1/2 cup)
garlic -minced (1-2 cloves)
tomato juice - enough to make the filling quite moist
salt & pepper
If you haven't noticed yet, I'm not one for specific quantities. I really do cook most things by "feel". In fact, if I had half the talent for "feel" in the riding realm as I do in the kitchen, I'd be a happy woman. In any case, the measurements in brackets are approximate. It's ok, you can't go wrong with this. Ask questions too, I'll answer!! Use a little tomato juice from the canned tomatoes for the sauce to make the filling moist. If you only had a thicker tomato puree, you can use a bit of that plus beef stock or even a bit of sherry, wine, or beer.
Once your filling is mixed and the sauce is pretty much ready, drop the head of cabbage into the boiling water. I do this in stages. Boil a few minutes then remove onto a cookie sheet. Use tongs to remove as many leaves as possible. Return to pot and repeat process until leaves start to get too small to make a good size roll or you think you have enough. I often have left over filling and I just make meatballs out of it and tuck it around the rolls.
Remove the thick end of the cabbage leaf spine. I wish I had a picture of this, but I basically cut a long triangle on either side of the stem end, removing the thickest part to make rolling easier. Add filling and roll. You will figure out the method that works.
Feel free to ask questions, I'll answer and post follow-up pictures if I can.
This is what I ended up with. The large pot was for that day. You can see the extra meat was made into meatballs which I place around the golubtsy.I froze the three smaller dishes as is and just add some tomato sauce on top when I bake them. The large dish I added extra tomato sauce and some beef stock. I bake at around 350F for 40 minutes or so.