Contributed by: Chris WebAdmin. of RecipesNow.com
Prepared this dish several days in advance for inhanced flavor!
Cut core out of cabbage. Cook cabbage in boiling water, 5 mins, until cabbage leave begin to separate and become flexible. As they separate, pull them out carefully with tongs and drain. You should end up with 15 - 18 nice leaves. Spread drained leaves on paper towels and drain well. Finely chop enough of remaining cabbage to make 3-1/2 C.
For sauce, heat 1 T. oil. Add half of onions. Cover and steam over low heat for 10 mins. Uncover and cook over med. heat until tender but not browned. Add tomatoes, puree and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until thickened, about 1/2 hour . Stir in honey, lemon juice, raisins, apricots, and 1-1/2 C. of chopped cabbage. Taste and adjust seasonings. The sauce should have a nice balance of sweet and sour.
For filling, heat 1 T. oil. Toss in remaining onions, cover, and steam for 10 mins. Uncover and cook until tender and browned. Put remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Scrape in the onions and the remaining cabbage. Using hands, mix all together very well. Fry a tiny piece and taste it. Adjust seasonings.
Choose a baking dish wide enough to hold 15 - 18 cabbage rolls in one layer.
Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom. Lay a cabbage leaf, rib side up, on a flat surface. With a sharp knife, pare down the tough rib. Turn the leaf so that it is rib side down. Place some of the meat mixture on the leaf, tuck in sides, and roll to make a neat parcel. Place seam side down on the sauce in baking dish. Repeat until all leaves and stuffing are used.
Cover cabbage rolls with remaining sauce. Cover baking dish tightly and bake for 2 hours.
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