This German cabbage roll recipe (krautwickel) is so full of flavor. This delicious dinner is a perfect home cooking recipe. After tasting them I’m putting these on my yummy dinner must make list.
My sister in law Brigitte generously offered to cook this dinner for Dave and I. But with YOU in mind. She let me video her making her recipe for the blog. Which is great because in this case, A video is worth about a thousand words.
She didn’t mind the video part. But when I had to sit her down and have her TELL me the recipe, including fussy details like measurements so I could write it all down…that took some doing. But we got it all! Just for you. You will want to make these cabbage rolls!
I HIGHLY recommend you watch her make this recipe. Then you will realize that even though there are several steps involved, this recipe is a perfect match for an entry level cook. Brigitte’s tips and methods make it easy.
Unfortunately, due to a LOUD football game and chatter in the background we only have a few words from Brigitte on video. The rest I have transcribed to the recipe card. Enjoy!
Brigitte is one of the best cooks you are ever going to meet in the kitchen. She has worked as a cook professionally and her whole life at home is all about good home cooking. GERMAN cooking mostly. I love eating her food and I know you will enjoy this dinner too.
This bay leaf tree she grew herself from a seedling. She sent me up some dried Bay leaves and I made a German Borscht Soup and many other yummy meals with them. I didn’t know Bay leaf Trees would grow here!
German Cabbage Rolls (krautwickel)
This recipe is unique to Brigitte, but it’s also a VERY popular dinner in her birth country of Germany where she was raised. Brigitte showed me the cook book the local German government gave her on her wedding day.
Every bride of Brigitte’s generation living in the City of Wurzburg Germany received this cookbook. Put out with the help of the local businesses the cookbook had advertisements from all the local shops. It is also full of helpful household cleaning tips and childrearing helps. Just what every bride could want.
The other cookbook she refers to for this recipe is German Cookery by Elizabeth Schuler.
Brigitte uses her own method and ingredients along with the culinary wisdoms found in these books to bring us this fantastic weeknight or special occasion dinner.
After watching Brigitte make these and then sitting down to dinner and actually eating them I know why these are her daughter’s only request for her special birthday dinner. Meaty, rich and sinfully flavorful. These are so good and filling. And then there is the gravy. A delicious combination.
Cabbage Rolls are a staple for German cooks because it’s delicious and very frugal. This recipe makes a lot for a small family. So there are often leftovers. Which is great because these are perfect for the office lunch box where you have a microwave to reheat them.
You WILL have cooked leftover cabbage after choosing only the large leaves to roll. You may even need TWO heads of green cabbage to get enough leaves large enough to roll. Brigitte suggests you use that extra cabbage in a separate recipe rather than throwing it out. So wasteful. Not at all in the spirit of this recipe.
Our cabbage patch soup recipe is a great way to use up that extra cabbage.
Brigitte’s Tips on her cabbage rolls recipe:
- Brigitte did not mix the meat filling in the video. Use her recipe and mix it up like a meatloaf. Brigitte actually used a 50/50 mixture of Moose meat (my brother is a hunter. I made Smoky Moose Meat Skillet Dinner too. Very yummy!) and full fat hamburger. Moose meat is VERY lean so you need the full fat hamburger to keep it moist.
No moose meat handy? Don’t worry. You can use whatever hamburger meat mixture you choose or just plain hamburger. It will taste great. Moose is very similar in flavor to beef.
- BEFORE you fill your cabbage rolls take a bit of the meat and fry it. Adjust the seasonings at this point. This way you will have the tastiest filling for your family.
- Cook the cabbage leaves until just tender. Drain the leaves and use a meat mallet (or some other like tool) to soften the tough cabbage vein so the leaf can roll easily.
- Place the meat in the CENTER of the cabbage leaf not the bottom to get the cabbage to roll correctly. Then follow the recipe instructions.
- Brown the cabbage rolls evenly on ALL sides, even the edges for best flavor. Another flavor tip is to brown the rolls in Peanut oil.
- You can easily make this recipe in either your stove top skillet or a good sized electric frying pan.
NOTE: You will have to make these cabbage rolls in a MUCH larger skillet than you see in the video (Brigitte uses her large electric skillet). Brigitte made most of the cabbage rolls a day ahead so you are only seeing her make a few. The point of the video is the techniques and the steps. If you prefer to cut this recipe in half that works great with this recipe.
These cabbage rolls also freeze really well.
- Brigitte freezes the rolls only without the gravy in a tupperware container.
- These rolls last well in the freezer several weeks.
- They are a quick and easy snack, dinner or lunch. Just whip up a new batch of gravy if your having them for dinner and want gravy on the side.
- Just thaw and microwave to reheat.
At 7.7 NET carbs per serving this dinner is low carb unless you add in the potatoes. To keep it a low carb dinner, choose a low carb side that the gravy can accompany, like roasted cauliflower. Enjoy this flavorful satisfying meal. Savory meaty German Cabbage rolls will be a big hit with the family.
- 20 large green cabbage leaves (1 or 2 Large cabbages) you will have leftover cabbage
- Meat Filling Ingredients:
- 2 lb. Hamburger (may mix 50/50 with moose or pork)
- 1 1/2 Cups crumbled stale french bread (with enough water to soak it)
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. Maggi sauce
- 1 1/4 white onion-diced fine
- 1 Cup fresh parsley-dice fine
- 1 Tablespoon bacon grease (or avocado oil) as needed
- 2 Tablespoons Peanut oil (or avocado oil) as needed
- Gravy Ingredients:
- 4 Cups Beef Broth
- 4 Cups water
- 1/4 Cup Brown Gravy Mix
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 Tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 2 Tablespoon Conrstarch
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon dijon Mustard
MAKE THE MEAT FILLING:
- Saute chopped Onion in bacon grease over medium heat until glossy and transparent.
- Soak the bread in enough water to thoroughly wet it and make it soggy and waterlogged. Then squeeze out the excess water and set aside.
- In a large bowl set the meat, maggi sauce, eggs, cooked onion, and soaked bread crumbs.
- Pour all the dry meat filling ingredients over the meat and mix by hand like a meatloaf.
TEST THE FLAVOR:
- Pan fry a small bit of meat until done to test for flavor. If you need to adjust the seasonings do it now and mix again by hand.
- Set a large pot on the stove 2/3 Full of water. Bring to boiling while shaping the meat rolls.
- Shape into 3 x 2 inch sausage shapes. Set Aside. You should get about 18 to 20 meat rolls.
COOK CABBAGE LEAVES:
- Set the cabbage into the boiling water and as the leaves soften and get tender. GENTLY pull the leaves off with tongs one at a time as the cabbage cooks. USE ONLY THE BIG LEAVES. (you may need two heads of cabbage to keep the leaf size large.)
- Lay the leaves on a large paper towel to drain.
- Soften the large tough vein of the leaves with a meat mallet so the leafs will roll.
FOLD THE CABBAGE ROLLS:
- Lay the leaf out on a large flat surface like a table or cutting board.
- Set a meat roll INTO THE CENTER of the leaf.
- Fold the cabbage leaf up from the bottom to cover the meat roll.
- Bring each side of the leaf up and over the meat.
- Now roll the cabbage roll up to the top of the cabbage leaf.
- Repeat for all leaves until the meat rolls are used.
TIE THE CABBAGE ROLLS
- Using Kitchen Twine tie the rolls up and knot them on each end (per Video).
- This is all done with one continuous piece of twine as shown so the rolls can be evenly browned without falling apart. So make sure they are well secured.
BROWN THE CABBAGE ROLLS:
- Set your frying pan on medium heat
- Add 2 Tablespoons of Peanut oil (or your favorite high heat safe oil).
- Brown the cabbage rolls on ALL sides for best flavor.
- Simmer the cabbage rolls 40 minutes with 4 cups of beef broth and 4 cups of water.
MAKE THE GRAVY:
- Remove cabbage rolls to serving platter or large casserole dish leave the broth in the pan.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients and add water to make a loose paste.
- Pour into the beef broth and whisk over medium high heat until boiling.
- Boil while whisking two minutes or until thick as you like.
- Cut the strings and remove from the cabbage rolls.
- Pour 2 cups of the gravy over the cabbage rolls.
- Pour the remaining gravy into a gravy server and serve on the side.
- Presto 06857 16-inch Electric Foldaway Skillet, Black
- Norpro Cotton Twine
- DRAGONN Premium Sturdy 12-inch and 9-inch Stainless-steel Locking Kitchen Tongs, Set of 2
- Maggi ssnng Liq wurze
- Cuisinart CI1136-24CR Chef's Classic Enameled Cast Iron 14-Inch Roasting/Lasagna Pan, Cardinal Red
- HIC Hotel Gravy Sauce Boat with Saucer Stand, Fine White Porcelain, 24-Ounces
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Serving Size:1 cabbage roll with gravy
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 431 Total Fat: 35.9g Carbohydrates: 10.1g Fiber: 2.4g Protein: 16.4g