Ukrainian Cabbage Rolls

2 cups uncooked rice

5 cups water

1 lb ground meat

1 medium diced onion

4 tablespoons canola oil or margarine

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp sweet paprika

3 tbsp ketchup

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp dill powder

1/2 tsp salt

I head cabbage

1 can tomato sauce

Begin by washing and draining rice. Add water and bring to boil. Turn down, cover and simmer on low until rice is cooked. Should be sticky rice. Add all spices and ketchup to sticky rice and stir

Dice onion and sauté with ground meat. Use potato masher to get meat into soft pieces.

Mix meat onions and oil with rice/spice mixture. You can taste the mixture at this point and add spices if you find its missing something. Sometimes I’ve added seasoning salt and it’s amazing. Other times I prefer a bland taste.

Fill a 8 cup soup pot with water. Core cabbage and add it to water, cored end upwards. Boil cabbage until leaves start to fall off. Gently pull off leaves and remove from water, I use two forks to do this. Lay the cabbage in a pan. Over-boiling leaves will make them too soft and they will tear when you make the cabbage rolls.

Take a paring knife and gently remove the ribs of the cabbage leaves by cutting down the sides of the rib. Place those ribs in the bottom of a 9×11 roasting pan

Take a tablespoon and get a large scoop of rice and add mixture to centre of cabbage. Roll while pushing rice into the ends. Make sure roll is tight, or you will end up with deconstructed cabbage mixture. It will take practice. This is probably one of the hardest steps! Lay down into pan, rib side down. Add next cabbage roll tightly to the previously one. Continue until pan is filled. Top with leftover cabbage leaves. Add can of tomato sauce. Use a spatula to move the cabbage away from the edges so that sauce gets to bottom of pan. Cover with foil and place in 350F oven. Bake an hour and a half.