2 lb. sauerkraut, fresh, canned or packaged
1 large head green cabbage (2 to 3 pounds)
2 tbsp. lard or bacon fat
1 c. finely chopped garlic
1 lb. ground lean pork
¾ c. cooked rice (1/4 c. uncooked)
2 lightly beaten eggs
2 tbsp. sweet Hungarian paprika
⅛ tsp. marjoram
1 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 c. water mixed with 1 cup tomato puree
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. flour
1 c. sour cream
Wash sauerkraut in cold water, then soak in cold water 10 to 20 minutes to reduce sourness. Squeeze dry and set aside. In a large saucepan, bring to a boil enough salted water to cover the cabbage. Add the cabbage and turn the heat to low and simmer 8 minutes. Remove the cabbage and let it drain while it cools enough to handle. Pull off the large unbroken leaves and lay them on paper towels to drain and cool further.
In a 10 inch skillet, heat the lard or bacon fat on high heat until light haze forms over it. Add the onions and garlic and cook them, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly colored.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the pork, rice, eggs, paprika, marjoram, onion-garlic mixture, salt and a few grindings of black pepper. Mix well with fork or wooden spoon.
Place 2 tablespoons of the stuffing in the center of one of the wilted cabbage leaves and, beginning with the thick end of the leaf, fold over the sides, then roll the whole leaf tightly, as you would a small bundle. Repeat with more stuffing until all leaves are used.
Spread the sauerkraut on the bottom of a 5 quart casserole and arrange the cabbage rolls on top of it. Add the water mixed with the tomato puree. Bring the liquid to a boil, then cover the pan tightly and cook the stuffed cabbage over low heat for 1 hour. Transfer the rolls from casserole to warm platter.
For sauce: In a small saucepan on medium heat, melt the butter and stir in the flour. Continue to stir until the flour browns slightly. Gradually stir in the cream, continuing to stir until the sauce is thick and smooth.
Stir the sauce into the sauerkraut and simmer 5 to 10 minutes longer. With a fork or slotted spoon, lift the sauerkraut onto a serving platter. Arrange the cabbage rolls on the sauerkraut and pour some of the sauce over them. Serve the rest of the sauce in a sauce boat.