Traditional German Cabbage Rolls – Kohlrouladen, Krautwickel
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
Preparation of the cabbage for 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.
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.
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.
Preparation of gravy for Cabbage Rolls:
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.
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.
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!” To try Oma’s Cole slaw click here.