I decided to rework my entire system of making holishkes (stuffed cabbage), and I came up with something that blows my old methodologies out of the water. So I figured y'all might like to know about it. :) Hope you enjoy!
2 pounds ground beef (or lamb)
1 teaspoon each: allspice berries, peppercorns, coriander seeds
2 tablespoons salt (or whatever you like)
1 teaspoon dried mint and dried sumac
1/4 teaspoon celery salt, lemon pepper
1 cup basamati rice
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 large onion, diced
1/4 cup lemon juice, divided
1/4 cup lemon juice
20 ounces water
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 large cabbage
Bring a large pot of water to a boil (salted or not, as you wish). While it's coming to a boil, core your cabbage. Then put it in the boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and cool until you can handle it with your hands.
Crush up the allspice, pepper and coriander (in a spice mill, or like me with a mortar and pestle; this takes longer w/ a mortar and pestle). Fry the meat, salted and with all the spices (meaning, when you put the meat in, put the spices in with it). Remove the meat from the grease, then fry your onion in it (with a couple tablespoons of lemon juice). When the onion is almost translucent, remove from heat. Cook the rice in the 1 1/2 cups of water and teaspoon of salt. Mix the onion, meat and rice together with another couple tablespoons of lemon juice.
Separate the cabbage leaves and spoon mixture into each one, rolling it up into a cigar or bundle. Place all the rolls into a 13x9 pan (if there's room leftover, I use an inverted souffle dish to take up the extra space). Mix together the remaining lemon, remaining salt, tomato sauce and 20 ounces of water. Pour on top of the cabbage rolls and bake for 60-75 minutes at 350F. Serves 5-8.
No picture, because I ate it all.