Kapsarullid, or stuffed cabbage, is a traditional Estonian dish that uses large, softened cabbage leaves as an edible wrapper for a rich, savory filling made of three types of ground meat, onions, herbs, and spices. These baked cabbage rolls make a tasty side dish or finger food, and are served with bright red crushed cranberries for dipping. Recipe Servings: Serves 4
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
- 1 large white cabbage
- 1 Tbsp (15 g) salt
- 1/2 lb (230 g) ground lean veal
- 1/2 lb (230 g) ground lean pork
- 1/2 lb (230 g) ground lean beef
- 1/2 cup (75 g) onions, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) cold water
- 1 cup (150 g) fine dry breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) black pepper, freshly ground
- 2 tsp (10 g) salt
- 3 Tbsp (90 g) butter, thinly sliced
- 1 cup (240 ml) canned, cooked cranberries, crushed
- In a large pot, boil the whole cabbage and 1 tablespoon (15 g) salt briskly, uncovered for about 10 minutes. Move the cabbage to a plate, leaving the pot boiling, and detach the softened outer leaves. Then return the whole cabbage to the pot and cook for a few additional minutes before removing it again and detaching the next layer of leaves. Repeat this process as needed until all the cabbage leaves are softened.
- Combine the ground meats in a large mixing bowl, stirring in the onions, water, breadcrumbs, eggs, pepper and salt. Beat the mixture with a large spoon until it becomes smooth.
- Lay out 3 cabbage leaves with 2 side by side slightly overlapping and one placed crosswise over the top. Spoon 1/2 cup (120 ml) of the filling in the center of the leaves. Cover the middle with a fourth leaf and tuck in the sides while rolling the leaves up. Make cabbage rolls until all the ingredients have been used.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F (149°C). Bake the cabbage rolls in a roasting pan in the center of the oven, basting them from time to time with the juices in the pan for 2–2 1/2 hours or until the rolls have turned golden brown. Serve the rolls hot with the crushed cranberries in a small bowl for a dipping sauce.
NotesFor a more traditionally Estonian taste, use lingonberries instead of cranberries. For a main course, serve with boiled potatoes.
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