• 20 fermented cabbage leaves, stems removed
  • ½ L (or more) sour cream for garnish
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 150 g ground or chopped raw smoked bacon
  • 1 white onion, diced, sautéed
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced, sautéed
  • 1 L long grain white rice, cooked
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • Smoked sweet paprika to garnish
  • 1 L pureed tomato
  • 50 ml sweet smoked paprika
  • 1/2 L cabbage roll liquid or pickle juice


Preheat oven to 315F. If you're using a convection oven, ensure the fan is turned down or off. In a large mixing bowl, combine all spices, meats and bacon, cooked rice, sautéed onion and garlic and tomato paste. You can use a spoon or rubber spatula, however the best way is to mix by hand. Mix very well or until the batch has a reddish colour throughout from the tomato paste and spices.  

Lay out one leaf of prepped cabbage leaves at a time. Place 3 oz of filling in the centre of each leaf. Fold the sides then the back part where you have removed the stem, then roll as tightly as possible. (This can be tricky and you might rip a leaf or two, but once you get a feel for the technique, it is a lot of fun). 

Repeat until you are out of filling. Pour 2/3 of sauce in a thin layer on the bottom of each casserole dish. Place rolls on top of sauce. Spoon remaining sauce on top of each roll. Cover casserole dish with foil.

Cook in pre-heated oven at 315F for 2 hours. Flip rolls after one hour. Top with an extra spoonful of tomato sauce and a dollop of sour cream, then serve and enjoy.