Stuffed cabbage (Toltott kaposzta)

Stuffed cabbage (Toltott kaposzta)
  • 3 Kilogram (kg) ground pork (fat content min 40%)
  • 30 Dekagram (dkg) pearl barley (or rice)
  • 3 Table spoon (tbsp) sweet paprika powder
  • 3 Table spoon (tbsp) salt
  • 1 Table spoon (tbsp) black pepper
  • 3 Table spoon (tbsp) marjoram
  • 2 Piece large head cabbage, cored
  • 1 Kilogram (kg) sauerkraut (sour cabbage)
  • 60 Dekagram (dkg) hardwood smoked pork ribs or ham
  • 2 Piece bay leave
  • 3 Table spoon (tbsp) lard (or oil)
  • 5 Piece garlic cloves
  • 3 Table spoon (tbsp) flour
  • 1 Table spoon (tbsp) sweet paprika powder

season: Winter,Autumn

occasion: 4Family, 4Holidays

origin: Traditional (National&Religious)




This is an authentic Hungarian family recipe of stuffed cabbage, mainly prepared at Christmas. Quite a lot of variation of stuffed cabbage exists in Hungary, here I used sauerkraut and smoked pork. Other method applies only sweet cabbage and tomato sauce, you can find the recipe under the title of HUNGARIAN STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS at as well.
Grind the pork and place in a large bowl. It is important to have enough fat content of ground pork otherwise the filling will be dry and tough. Add the salt, pepper, sweet paprika powder and dried marjoram. Using your hands, combine thoroughly, making sure that the seasonings evenly distributed throughout the meat. Mix with pre-cooked and cooled pearl bearly evenly also.


Remove the cores and 2 outermost leaves from each head of cabbage. Bring to the boil salt water enough to cover the cabbage head. Place a head of cabbage in the pot, reduce the heat, cover and steam for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the leaves are getting tender and pliable enough to separate and roll. Continue preparing the cabbage leaves for rolling by removing them from the heads, layer by layer. Depending on the diameter of your cabbages, you will need between 50 and 60 leaves to accomodate the quantity of meat in this recipe. Reserve the remaining cabbage for chopping.
To ensure easy rolling, it's best to pare away the thickest portion of the center vein of each cabbage leaf. To do this, turn each leaf outer side up and insert the point of a paring knife just under the thinnest part of the center vein.
Squeeze the sauerkraut and place half of the amount at the bottom of a large pot. Add the sliced smoked pork ribs and cover with sauerkraut and add two bay leaves. Roll the cabbage leaves and layer on sauerkraut base, keeping the rolls tight, finishing with a layer of chopped cabbage. Salt and add enough water to cover it, bring to the boil and cook it on meadium heat for 3 hours. After 2 hours, test for doneness by cutting one of the cabbage rolls in half and tasting to see if the meat is tender. If not, return the pot to the oven for an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour.


After 2 hours cooking time make a soft roux from ingredients ading 0.5 l water and pour to the cabbage, revolve the cabbage in the pot ensuring the roux mixing well.
Serving suggestions is to really enjoy the cabbage rolls and their chunky sauce, serve over mashed potatoes or with buttered dinner rolls for dipping on top with sour cream. It's also worth noting that stuffed cabbage is one of those dishes that develops more flavor as sits. Leftovers always taste better, so if you plan to serve this to company, consider making the dish ahead of time.

Conversion equivalents

Officially, a US Cup is equal to 240 ml or
8 fluid ounces ½ pint or 16 tablespoon.
1 cup of
fluid onces
Fluid - water & milk 240 8.0
Butter 226 8.0
All purpose flour 125 4.4
Confectioners sugar 125 4.4
Cocoa powder 118 4.2
White sugar granulated 200 7.1
Honey, Syrup 340 12.0
Vegetable oil 218 7.7
Table salt 273 9.6
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