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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Cabbage rolls in a thick tomato sauce in Szabolcs region (Hungary) style: they are even tastier the next day

Cabbage rolls is one of the most delicious dishes of Hungarian cuisine, with many varieties. One of the most delicious versions is made in Szabolcs, and it can be stuffed with cornmeal instead of rice.

Popular recipes can have many variations, and traditional favorites such as cabbage rolls are no exception. Some of the best-known varieties include cabbage á la Kolozsvár, cabbage rolls with tomatoes, Transylvanian cabbage rolls and many more. One of the great favorites is the cabbage rolls made in the Szabolcs region, which can be somewhat adjusted to individual tastes, but it remains equally delicious.

With rice or cornmeal?

The original cabbage rolls made in Szabolcs are made with cornmeal, but many families now make it with rice. The filling is best if mixed with spicy ground meat and stuffed into sweet cabbage leaves, but if you want to experiment, you can try to wrap it in kale or grape leaves. If your family likes cabbage rolls a little spicy, you can add hot peppers, or you can even add hot pepper cream to the meat mixture.

The size of the cabbage rolls is traditionally quite small, but if you don’t have the patience for making dozens of tiny rolls, you can make them however you like. It’s worth making a double batch, as they’re even more delicious when reheated the next day. Serve with fresh bread and don’t forget to drizzle with cooled sour cream.

Ingredients for 6 servings

    • 1 cabbage
    • 100 g smoked bacon
    • 100 g unsmoked bacon
    • 2 red onions
    • 150 g sausage (smoked)
    • 600 g ground pork (shoulder or thigh)
    • 2 tablespoons red pepper
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 hot pepper
    • 150 g cornmeal
    • 2 bell peppers
    • 2 tomatoes
    • 1 liter concentrated or homemade tomato juice

Preparation time: 40 minutes
Preparation time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Cabbage rolls in a thick tomato sauce in Szabolcs region (Hungary) style: they are even tastier the next day
Photo: 123rf.com


Remove the stalk of the cabbage.

Place the cabbage in a large pot of simmering water and when the water starts to boil, lower the heat; at this point, the cabbage leaves will start to loosen. Use a fork to remove the softened leaves.

Wait for the leaves to cool, and set aside the remaining part of the cabbage from which the leaves could not be removed (or would be too small).

Finely chop the onions.

Finely dice the smoked bacon and fry in its own fat, then stir in the finely chopped onions, sauté until translucent, then set aside to cool.

Cut the unsmoked bacon into small cubes. Dice the sausage.

Place the ground meat in a mixing bowl, add the onion, bacon, spices, crushed garlic, chopped hot peppers, corn flour, mix well, then roll adequate sizes of filling into the cabbage leaves.

Chop the bell peppers and tomatoes.

Cut the leftover cabbage into strips, then scatter onto the bottom of the pot, place half of the bell peppers and tomatoes on top of the cabbage, then add the cabbage rolls. Sprinkle half of the sausage and bacon on top, with some of the remaining peppers and tomatoes. Add another row of cabbage rolls, and top with the remaining sausage and bacon.

Pour the concentrated or homemade tomato juice over the cabbage rolls along with enough water to cover the rolls.

Cook the cabbage rolls with the pot covered over a low heat for 60-90 minutes.

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