Prep and Sauce:
Preheat the oven to 400 F
In a food processor, grate carrots, cauliflower (if not pre-done), and onion. Place in separate bowls.
Carefully remove the core of your cabbage with a paring knife. Remove as much of the core as you are able.
In a large pot, fill 1/4 of the way with water and add a steaming grate/ bucket (if you have one, if not, skip this step).
Add the whole head of cabbage, core side down.
Steam cabbage head on medium heat for 20-30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
In a large cast iron dutch oven, sauté beef until cooked through, then using a slotted spoon, remove beef and set aside.
Into the same pot, add onions and sauté for 4-5 minutes until translucent.
Add raisins and apple cider vinegar.
Use water to swirl around tomato jars, then add to the sauce.
Simmer for 20 minutes.
Carefully remove cabbage from the water – it is hot!
Begin to prepare the leaves but reserving about 6 outer leaves and set off to the side – we will use these later!
Then take 15-20 inner leaves, and with a paring knife, trim off the bulging stem to have a smoother, flatter pocket for filling.
Line the bottom and sides of a cast iron dutch oven with cabbage leaves – this protects the stuffed leaves so they are not on direct heat while baking.
In a bowl, mix cooked beef, carrots, cauliflower, thyme, and salt + 1 cup tomato sauce
Lay out 1 cabbage leaf on your work surface.
Add 2 tbsp if filing to the bottom portion of the leaf and roll – roll the bottom of the leaf up, then one side in, then the other side in, then roll up from the bottom again.
Place stuffed leaf into the cast iron pot.
Continue to stuff and layer leaves into the pot.
Then, when the filling is done (should make 15-20 leaves), 1 take 1 cup cabbage water and 1 cup tomato sauce and pour it over the cabbage.
Then, cover the entire pot with the 2-3 of the remaining leaves (flat, unstuffed) along the top like an umbrella. Make sure the umbrella stays within the sides of the pot.
Add the cast iron lid and cook at 400F degrees for 60 minutes.
When you’re ready to eat, top with extra sauce.