Traditional German Cabbage Rolls

Traditional German Cabbage Rolls — German Recipe for Stuffed Cabbage

Traditional German Cabbage Rolls

These traditional German Cabbage Rolls are called Kohlrouladen or Krautwickel in Germany.

Ingredients for traditional German Cabbage Rolls:

  • 1 large white cabbage about 1800 g (4 lbs)
  • 600 g (21.16 oz) of ground beef
  • 1 French roll OR French bread in the size of a roll
  • 1 egg XL
  • 1 egg yolk XL
  • 150 g (5.29 oz) of chopped onion for meat
  • 150 g (5.29 oz) of chopped onion for gravy
  • 1 cube of “Knorr” beef bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons of crème fraîche OR sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of paprika (hot)
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • 750 ml (25.36 oz) of water
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
  • 3 tablespoons of corn starch
  • Baker’s twine

Ingredients for traditional German Cabbage Rolls

Preparation of the cabbage for traditional German Cabbage Rolls:

Using a sharp knife, remove the bottom core of the cabbage. Place the cabbage in a large saucepan of boiling water and cook for 2–3 minutes. The leaves will loosen. When done, place the cabbage in a colander and rinse with cold water. Carefully separate the leaves and dry them with a paper kitchen towel. If there is some of the core remaining on the leaves, cut it out with a small kitchen knife. Use eight large leaves (if the leaves are not large enough, you can use two leaves) and spread them out on your work surface.

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Preparation of the meat for traditional German Cabbage Rolls:

To prepare the meat, start by soaking the French bread/roll in the water. Place the ground beef in a bowl and add in the diced onions, egg, egg yolk, paprika, pepper, and salt. Wring the water out of the bread/roll with your hands or, wrap the bread/roll in a paper kitchen towel and squeeze the water out. Spread the bread/roll pieces over the meat and mix all the ingredients together.

Meat Traditional Cabbage Rolls

Divide the meat into eight portions (about 125 g—4.4 oz) and place each rounded ball on a cabbage leaf. Wrap the leaves around the meat by folding the right and left sides over the meat so that the meat remains contained in the leaves. Use Baker’s twine to hold the rolls together.

Heat up the oil in a roasting pan and fry the cabbage rolls until slightly brown. Remove the cabbage rolls from the pan and set aside. You will notice that the rolls differ in color as leaves from the outside of the cabbage will be greener than those from the inside.

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Preparation of gravy for traditional German Cabbage Rolls recipe:

Sauté the other half of the diced onions (150 g—5.29 oz) in the roasting pan until they are transparent. Fill the pan with the water and add in the tomato paste. Crumble your bouillon beef cube and add to the water. Mix with a whisk until tomato paste, and beef cube is dissolved. Place the Cabbage Rolls back into the roasting pan and cover it. Simmer for about 35–40 minutes. When the water evaporates, add water from time to time. Use kitchen tongs to remove the rolls and place them on a plate. Keep warm.

IMG_8172                     Preparation of German Cabbage Rolls

Pass the liquids and onions from the roasting pan through a fine sieve (strainer) to make the gravy. Heat the strained sauce (about 750 ml—25.36 oz) in a saucepan on your stove top and add crème fraîche or sour cream. While the gravy is heating, stir with a whisk. Dissolve the corn starch in a cup with a little water and add the dissolved starch slowly to the gravy while constantly stirring. Continue until you have reached your desired texture for your gravy. Add salt and pepper to taste along with some paprika.

IMG_8181                     Preparation of gravy for Traditional German Cabbage Rolls

Consider serving your cabbage rolls with Oma’s mashed potatoes and cucumber salad. This is my favorite combination, and my grandchildren love it too. They always say, “Oma, mmh schmeckt gut!”

Serving traditional German Cabbage Rolls


Stuffed Martin's Goose

Stuffed Martin’s Goose – Martinsgansessen

Stuffed Martin’s Goose

Stuffed Martin’s Goose is called gefuellte Martinsgans in Germany. A traditional meal for St. Martin’s Day.

Ingredients for stuffed Martin’s goose:

  • 1 young goose about 4.5 kg (10 lbs)
  • 1 large onion
  • 80 g (2.8 oz) of diced celery knob
  • 2 stems of cut leeks
  • 2 large carrots diced
  • 1.5 l (50 oz) of water
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Ingredients for filling:


  • 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 apples (McIntosh) diced
  • ½ pomegranate
  • 250 g (8.8 oz) of dried prunes
  • 1 large baguette roll (1-day old) diced
  • 2 heaping teaspoons of fresh chopped marjoram
  • 3 heaping teaspoons of fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 extra large egg
  • salt
  • pepper

Ingredients for gravy:

  • 250 ml (8.4 oz) of water
  • 2 tablespoons of Cognac
  • 3 tablespoons of apple sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of corn starch

Three things you need to know while making your stuffed Martin’s goose

1. Before you start roasting your goose in the oven, make some holes with toothpicks (in the places in the picture below,) so that the fat can run out. You need to repeat this, from time to time, during the cooking process.

Preparing Stuffed Martin's Goose

2. Be sure to baste your goose on top from time to time, though that it won’t dry out.

3. A goose has a lot of fat. Make sure to scoop out the fat with a ladle. Don’t throw away the fat. It will harden in the refrigerator and you can use it for cooking. Or, spread it on a piece of fresh bread—seasoned with some salt and pepper.

Preparation for stuffing:

Cover the prunes with water and let them soak for about an hour. Take them out, dry with a paper towel, and dice. Dice the apples and onions. Remove and save the seeds from the pomegranate. Cut the bread in small pieces. Chop the marjoram and parsley.

Heat up the oil in a big pan and saute the diced onions and they are transparent. (If you like, you can now add the diced goose liver and heart to it). Add the fruits and stir it with a cooking spoon for about 3–5 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and let it cool down.

Add the marjoram, parsley, egg, salt, and pepper to it and mix.

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Preparation of the goose:

Take out the giblets (which are usually inside the goose wrapped in paper). Wash the goose under running water—both inside and out. Dry with a paper towel. Rub the goose with salt, pepper, and marjoram. Fill the goose with the stuffing and sew the back and the front of the goose with a darning needle using a cotton thread. Bind the wings close to the body, otherwise, they will burn.

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Place your goose with the breast down in a roasting pan and add the water. Cut celery, leaks, carrots, and onions and spread it in your pan. Add salt and pepper.

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Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). When ready, place the covered pan on the first rack of your oven.

Cook for 1 ½ hours. Turn the goose over after the first 45 minutes.

After 1 ½ hours cooking time, turn the heat up to 200°C  (400°F) and turn the goose over once more with breast side down. Let it cook covered for another hour.

After the stuffed Martin’s goose has been cooking for 2 ½ hours, turn up the heat to 225°C (425°F) and roast the goose uncovered for another 30 minutes—turning the goose over after 15 minutes.

Finishing of the gravy for the stuffed Martin’s goose:

After the stuffed Martin’s goose has been cooked, set it on plate. Let it cool down a little and cut. Pass the vegetables through a sieve and add 250 ml (8.4 oz) of water to it. In a pot, bring it to a boil. Add cognac and applesauce and stir with a whisk. Dissolve the corn starch with 4 tablespoons of water and, while constantly stirring, add it to the gravy until you have reached your desired consistency. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed. You are all DONE.  Offer your goose with Oma’s red cabbage and the yeast dumplings and enjoy your Martinsgansessen.

Serving Stuffed Martin's Goose