This recipe is the lovechild of my grandmother's and mother's holupki recipe and my adaptations of a favorite cookbook recipe. It's not authentic, it's just plain delicious. You can omit the light cream and sour cream to make it less rich, if you prefer.
1.) In a large kettle, bring enough water to boil to submerge the cabbage whole.
2.) Trim any damaged outer leaves from cabbage.
3.) Stick a large fork deep into the core and lower the cabbage into the boiling water, holding on to fork securely.
4.) With a small, sharp knife, cut loose and remove 12 to 16 leaves to a colander or plate; cabbage leaves should be slightly softened and the rib slightly pliable.
5.) Drain cabbage leaves and chop remaining cabbage coarsely to make about 6 cups.
6.) Combine bread crumbs, salt, pepper and water in a large bowl.
7.) Add ground chuck, eggs, rice, garlic and onion.
8.) Mix beef mixture well, tossing lightly.
9.) Using a small scoop or a couple of teaspoons, put about 1/4 cup meat mixture on each cabbage leaf near the thickest part of the leaf, folding in sides and rolling up leaf over stuffing.
10.) Repeat until all leaves are used.
11.) Heat butter in a large oven-proof skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
12.) Add onion and let it soften for a few minutes, then stir in carrots and chopped cabbage.
13.) Saute vegetables, stirring often, until soft, about 10 minutes.
14.) Stir in both paprikas, salt, white wine, broth, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.
15.) Bring mixture to a simmer, then arrange cabbage rolls, seam-side down, close together, over cabbage mixture.
16.) Cover and simmer on the stove-top over low heat for about an hour (or you can bake these in the oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes then at 350 degrees for another 30 minutes).
17.) To serve, remove cabbage rolls to a warm platter or serving dish, cover and keep warm. Stir together sour cream and light cream; add to pan and stir gently to incorporate. Spoon sauce over cabbage rolls, shower with chopped dill or parsley. Serves 6 to 8 people.
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