Irish Tamales


  • 1 head cabbage (about 1 dozen large cabbage leaves)
  • 1 pound ground beef (lean)
  • 3/4 cup rice (cooked)
  • 1/2 cup onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 oz Jameson Whiskey
  • 4-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 4-oz salsa
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can tomatoes (diced, undrained)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (mixed with 1/4 cup cold water)


Blanch the head of cabbage (makes it easier to manipulate the leaves), I cook mine for 2 minutes at a time, remove from the water, peel the leaves that come off easilty, repeat until you have about half the head left (you can use the remaining cabbage for Colcannon). Heat the oven to 350 F. 
For filling, combine ground beef, rice,whiskey, onion, egg, and salt, pepper, and milk. Mix well and divide into as many portions as you have leaves for stuffing. 
Place a portion of the beef mixture onto the center of each cabbage leaf. 
Roll the leaf around the filling, burrito-style. Fasten the rolls with toothpicks. Place the rolls in a baking dish or oven-safe Dutch oven. 
For the sauce, combine the tomato sauce, salsa, tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, and 1/2 cup of water. Pour over the cabbage rolls. Cover and bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour. Remove the rolls with a slotted spoon and discard the toothpicks. 
Place pan with juices over medium heat or transfer the juices to a saucepan and place over medium heat; stir cornstarch and water mixture into the sauce; bring to a boil and cook until thickened (you are making a gravy from drippings). 
Serve the cabbage rolls with the sauce.