This particular recipe I don't claim as my own, or even my mother's. She found it years ago somewhere, touted as the recipe for cabbage rolls that Garth Brooks said his mother made for him. I looked it up online and saw it appear in a few forums, but I didn't see an "original" anywhere, so I thought I'd go ahead and list it here, too. If objections happen to come down the pike at some point, I'll be more than willing to take it down, if there are copyright issues or something. I'd love to credit the original source, but I don't know what it is.
Garth Brooks' mother's cabbage rolls
1 head of cabbage, cored
8 c. water
2 T. sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. vinegar
2 bay leaves (I failed to pick any of these up at the store, so I sprinkled some basil into the water. It sounded good.)
8 oz. can tomato sauce (I was shopping from memory, so I got a 28 oz. can instead. The leftover will be used in tomorrow's meal.)
1 c. beef broth
1 T. sugar
1 T. vinegar
1/2 t. cinnamon (this makes all the difference in the world!)
1 bay leaf (again, I didn't get any of these, so a little more basil here for us)
1 1/2 c. cooked rice
1 T. sugar
1 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ground black pepper
2 lbs. lean ground beef
For cabbage: Heat water, sugar, lemon juice, vinegar and bay leaves in a large stock pot to boiling. Add cabbage; return to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 mins. Drain well. When cool enough to handle, carefully separate leaves.
Meanwhile, for sauce: Combine tomato sauce, beef broth, sugar, vinegar, cinnamon and bay leaf in a medium saucepan. Bring to boiling (gently - tomato sauce splatters when it boils!). Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 20 mins., stirring frequently.
Preheat oven to 350F.
For filling: Combine rice, sugar, salt, cinnamon and pepper. Add beef and mix well, but don't overwork. (Overworking ground beef mixtures will make it tough.) Shape meat mixture into 12 small logs and roll up in cabbage leaves, folding in sides to leaves to enclose filling.
Place cabbage rolls seam side down in a 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Pour sauce over rolls. Bake, uncovered, for 45-50 mins.
I remembered to snap a pic before I dug in! I split open the cabbage rolls and pour some of the sauce inside. The side dish is roasted potatoes, which is just russet potatoes diced and tossed in olive oil, then seasoned with seasoned salt and Roasted Garlic and Herb seasoning (a staple in my house.)