I adapted this recipe from my Aunt Florence Fried’s recipe for the filling of her stuffed cabbage. When I used to make stuffed cabbage, I would make extra meatballs for my children. My son Danny was the one who really loved these. My mother loved when I made this, but my father especially loved when I made the stuffed cabbage.
for the meatballs or the filling of the stuffed cabbage:
- 4 pounds chop meat (85% or 90% lean)
- 4 eggs
- about 1 cup of plain bread crumbs (or matzah meal for Passover)
- 1 cup ketchup
- salt and pepper to taste
for the sauce for the sweet and sour meatballs or the stuffed cabbage:
- 4- 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
- 4- 6 oz. cans tomato paste (I use Contadina)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon sour salt (or substitute 1 more lemon for sour salt 9/11)
- juice of a lemon
- 2 cups packed dark brown sugar (reduce to 1 1/2 cups)
if you are making stuffed cabbage:
- 1 large head of new cabbage
for making the sweet and sour meatballs:
Put all the sauce ingredients in a large pot. Put over low flame and whisk till blended. Then form meat mixture into meatballs about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Gently drop meatballs into pot. Simmer covered over a low flame about 2 1/2 hours. Do not stir until your meatballs have set after about 1/2 hour or so. If you mix while they are still raw, they will not retain their shape.
for stuffed cabbage:
Core and put 1 large head of new cabbage in a very large pot. Pour cold water in to cover. Simmer covered until the leaves are soft enough to separate. Lay out one leaf of cabbage at a time. Put about one tablespoon of meat mixture in center but towards the bottom of the leaf, then begin to roll up, then fold both sides over, and continue to roll. Do with each leaf until you have used all the leaves. Put half of your sauce mixture in bottom of a very large pot. Then put all of the cabbage rolls, then the rest of the sauce on top. If you have any leftover meat, make meatballs out of them and add to the top of the pot. Simmer with the top on about 2 1/2 hours.
Note: This freezes very well.