Pressure Cooker Jewish Sweet and Sour Stuffed Cabbage is a traditional dish made with a tomato onion sauce, but now has less than one hour cook time!
Jewish Style Sweet and Sour Stuffed Cabbage, also called Holishkes, has been a staple of Eastern European Jews since the 14th Century. Ashkenazi Jews everywhere have their own special recipes and traditions. My first memory was around 1969, maybe a bit before.
Every Winter, my Grandma, Rose Selkowitz, drove to Florida and stayed at either the Eden Roc Hotel or the Fountain Bleu, until the end of Spring. Back then, it was very affordable for average citizens to stay in fancy hotels. I remember sitting around a very long table in her hotel room, having a meal. Perhaps it was Sukkot.
Jews eat a lot of Sweet and Sour Stuffed Cabbage during Sukkot. As a kid, I wasn’t very thrilled with the meal as I did not learn to love vegetables until later in life. As I got older, I developed a real love for my Grandma’s Jewish Sweet and Sour Stuffed Cabbage. A minimum of three hours simmering is a long time.
However, with my wonderful Pressure Cooker, my Pressure Cooker Jewish Sweet and Sour Stuffed Cabbage, only takes about 15 minute cook time. Of course, make sure to take into account the time for the Pressure Cooker to come up to pressure and then the 15 minutes for the pressure to release. So, 30-45 minutes sounds a whole lot better than 3 hours on the stove and/or in the oven.
Before preparing the Meat Filling and Sauce, start the Cabbage. Just a minute in your Pressure Cooker on a Trivet with a little water underneath, is all you will need. After pressure is released, run the Cabbage under cool water, so that you can handle it, with ease. Using a sharp knife, remove the core, a little more than an inch down and about the same difference around.
Ever so gently, remove each Cabbage Leaf, until you get down to the white center. For this recipe, 16-18 Cabbage Leaves should be enough. Take a sharp knife and shave off the thick vein at the very bottom of each Cabbage Leaf, being careful not to poke through the Cabbage Leaves. You just need a tiny bit removed, which will make rolling up the Cabbage, much easier.
Ground Beef is what is mostly used in Jewish Style Sweet and Sour Stuffed Cabbage. I like to use Ground Turkey in place of Ground Beef in most recipes and I use it my Stuffed Cabbage. For me, weight measurements are easier and I only have to dirty one bowl, but feel free to measure however you like.
In a Medium Mixing Bowl, add your Ground Beef or Turkey, the egg, Raw Rice, Seasonings. Back then, we didn’t know from rice, but remember the long grain is nicest in this recipe. Now I use Long Grain Jasmine Rice. To get some good Onion flavor without chunks of Onion, take a Good Course Grater and grate up about 1/3 of an Onion. The rest of the Onion(s) will be sliced and used between the Cabbage Roll layers.
If using Ground Turkey, add in a big shot of Worcestershire Sauce, to boost up the taste. You can add a shot of Worcestershire Sauce to the Ground Beef too, if you like. It is a wonderful flavor enhancer.
Combine the ingredients well. Use your hands, it is fun. 🙂 This recipe is a great family recipe, as everyone can help. Set aside the Meat Mixture and prepare the sauce. The photo of my Meat Mixture looks kind of nasty, I know. Ground turkey is softer, wetter and mushier than Ground Beef.
You have several options for the Sweet and Sour Sauce. To make it easier to mix AND to pour, I like to use my Vitamix or Kitchen Blender. You will want about 6.5 cups total, so keep that in mind. Start with two 11.5 oz cans of Pure Tomato Juice (or 1/2 of a Large Can) (when I make a double batch, I use my 8 Quart Pressure Cooker and the Large Can). Set aside one cup of the Tomato Juice. Add the rest of the Juice and the Tomato Sauce to your Vitamix or Kitchen Blender. Add the Fresh Squeezed Lemon (or True Lemon, if you like), Brown Sugar, Salt/Pepper, Garlic and Oil (Coconut, Crisco Shortening, or Vegetable). Process just enough, so that the Seasonings are mixed through.
If using Canned Whole Peeled Tomatoes, add them into the Vitamix or Kitchen Blender and pulse/process just for a second or two. You want texture!!! If using Pureed Tomatoes, dump them into the Sauce Mixture and hand mix with a spoon. Don’t process them in Blender. If you like more texture, use Diced Tomatoes.
Clear off a space on your Counter for your work station. You will need the Meat Mixture, a Cookie Dough Scoop and the separated Cabbage Leaves. If you are comfortable using your hands, use your hands. I know my Grandma did. But, me being a bit OCD, I use my Cookie Dough Scoop to scoop out the Meat.
The photos above will show you how to make the Pressure Cooker Jewish Sweet and Sour Cabbage. Take one Cabbage Leaf and place it vein side down, with the base closest to you. Add a large scoop of the Meat Mixture to the base of the Cabbage Leaf. Fold in the sides and then roll up the Cabbage Leaf, folding in the sides as you go. If there is excess Cabbage on the sides, tuck the excess into the sides.
Slice up the rest of the Onions and Chop up the rest of the Cabbage, which includes the center, whiter part and any unused Cabbage Leaves. You are now ready to add all the ingredients to your Pressure Cooker.
As we all know, tomato products tend to scorch and burn easily. Therefore, we will make a buffer, so that nothing will burn or scorch. Place a big handful of the Cabbage and the Sliced Onions into the bottom of the Pressure Cooker, so that the bottom is covered. Pour the Tomato Juice that was set aside over the Sliced Onions and Cabbage.
Place a Short Legged Trivet into the Pressure Cooker, on top of the Buffer Layer. This will help prevent the Tomato Chunks from falling through to the bottom of the Pressure Cooker cooking pot and will allow the Pressure Cooker to reach pressure, without the worry of burning and scorching.
Add in half the Stuffed Cabbage Rolls. Place half the Onion Slices and half the Chopped Cabbage on top. If you are doubling the recipe and using an 8 Quart or larger Pressure Cooker, you can do three layers and divide everything into three, rather than two.
Pour some of the Sweet and Sour Sauce over the Cabbage Rolls. Add the second layer of Stuffed Cabbage Rolls and the rest of the Sliced Onions and Cabbage.
Pour on the rest of your Sweet and Sour Sauce. The really thin part of the Sweet and Sour Sauce will fall to the bottom and the thicker part will stay on the top. Some people top with Raisins and/or crush Ginger Snaps, or even Candied Ginger.
There is some room for a tiny third layer in the 6 Quart Pressure Cooker really, but I tend to go less, than more. Plus, there is just two of us. Plus, plus, the rice will puff up and your pot will look more full than when you started!!!
You will end up with a lot of extra Sweet and Sour Sauce, but don’t worry. It is soooo good. We freeze the Sweet and Sour Sauce in 24 oz Reditainers and then use it as a dipping sauce and/or a cooking sauce for other recipes. For example, as an alternative to the Sauce used in my Pressure Cooker Friday Night Shabbos Brisket. A Sweet and Sour Brisket is to die for!!!
Using the Pressure Cooker to make this Pressure Cooker Jewish Sweet and Sour Stuffed Cabbage, is seriously a game changer. The Cabbage Rolls self baste and no slaving over a hot stove. It frees up your oven to bake some Yogurt Whey Dutch Oven Crusty Bread or other baked goods and takes up such a small space. Your Cabbage Rolls can be tucked away inside your Pressure Cooker, in the corner and can be cooking during the four questions or while your guests are enjoying appetizers.
With a slotted spoon, remove all the Stuffed Cabbage Rolls and plate. Add a few big spoonfuls of the Sweet and Sour Sauce over the top. Serve as an appetizer to your Passover Dinner or as a Main Course, any time! This is a treif recipe, so if you keep Kosher, plan accordingly. For non-Jews, this Pressure Cooker Jewish Sweet and Sour Stuffed Cabbage would not be served with my Jewish Noodle Kugel (Noodle Pudding). I would go well with my Pressure Cooker Friday Night Shabbos Brisket recipe.
I couldn’t remember my Grandmother’s birth year, so I typed in Rose Adler Selkowitz. Much to my surprise and astonishment, I came across a question asked 15 years ago in a Jewish Group. It talked about my Grandmother and Grandfather Jack (who died the year before I was born) and family members, including me. The note was signed by my dad, who dies in 2005. If that doesn’t take your breath away. I also discovered that my last name is really Zelikowitz.
Kitchen Equipment and Essentials
- Instant Pot Smart DUO60
- J.A. Henckels Classic 7-inch Knife
- Amco Advanced Performance 18/10 Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons
- Culina Stackable (Dry) Stainless Steel Measuring Cups
- Anchor Hocking Glass (Liquid) Measuring Cups
- Rachael Ray Stoneware EVOO Oil Dispensing Bottle
- Alton Brown Salt Box
- Electric Pepper Mill
- 6 oz Porcelain Ramekins
- John Boos Maple Cutting Board with Groove
- Stainless Steel Tall Legged Trivet
- 3.5 Quart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl
- Microplane Artisan Fine Cheese Grater
- Microplane Artisan Course Grater
- Cookie Dough Scooper
- VitaMix 7500
- Bamboo Strainer
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Here is the handy printable recipe:
Pressure Cooker Jewish Style Sweet and Sour Cabbage is a traditional dish made with a tomato onion sauce, but now has less than one hour cook time!
- 1 large Head of Cabbage
- 2 large/500g Onions 1/4 cup/50g for filling
- 1 clove/4g Fresh Garlic Minced
- 23 oz/652g Tomato Juice (hold back one cup)
- 28 oz/794g Pureed Tomatoes (add after processing)
- 15 oz/450g Tomato Sauce
- 2 large Lemons (or more to taste)
- 1/4 cup/46g Brown Sugar (or more to taste)
- 1 TBL/13g Pure Virgin Coconut Oil (Crisco or Vegetable Oil)
- 2 tsp/12g Kosher Salt
- 1/2 tsp/3g Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- remainder Onions sliced
- remainder Cabbage hard center
- 1 Stainless Steel Short Legged Trivet
Cook Cabbage for 1 minute. Allow a 5 minute Natural Pressure Release. Remove Cabbage from Pressure Cooker and run under cold water to cool. Dump out water from Pressure Cooker and rinse pot. Place cooking pot back into Pressure Cooker.
Remove Cabbage core. Carefully remove 14-20 Cabbage Leaves. Gently, shave off the raised/thick part of the vein at the base of each Leaf. Set the Leaves aside. Chop up the rest of the Cabbage (which is white-ish) and set aside.
Add all Filling Ingredients to a Bowl. With a Hand Grater, grate about 1/4 cup of Onion into the Bowl. Mix together well. Set aside. Slice the rest of the Onion(s) and set aside with the Chopped Cabbage.
In a Vitamix or Blender add all Sauce ingredients, except one cup of Tomato Juice and Whole/Pureed/Diced Tomatoes. Process to combine. Add Whole/Pureed/Diced Tomatoes. (If using Whole Tomatoes, process one second, to crush)
Take one Cabbage Leaf at a time and add a small handful of the meat mixture. Fold in sides of Cabbage Leaf and roll up, tucking in the sides as you go. Repeat until all Filling has been used.
Place 1/3 of the Chopped Cabbage and Sliced Onions into the bottom of the Pressure Cooker cooking pot. Pour in the one cup of Tomato Juice. Place Short Legged Trivet in Pressure Cooker cooking pot over the Buffer Layer.
Place half the Cabbage Rolls on Trivet. Add a layer of Onions/Cabbage and pour over half the Sauce. Add another layer of Cabbage Rolls, top with the rest of the Onions/Cabbage and Sauce.
Lock on Lid and Close Pressure Valve. Cook at High Pressure for 9 Minutes. When Beep sounds, allow a 15-20 minute Natural Pressure Release.
With a Slotted Spoon, remove Cabbage Rolls to a plate and pour over the Sauce.
Table Salt/Sea Salt is twice as potent as Kosher Salt, so if you use Table Salt instead, cut the amount.
Don’t forget to PIN IT!