Parboil cabbage leaves to soften. Remove thick ribs. Spread out a large piece of cheesecloth and arrange leaves on it in an overlapping circle.
Mix everything else except pickling spices as for meat loaf, form into a large ball, and center on the bed of cabbage leaves. Gather cheesecloth to wrap leaves around meat, and tie at the top. Bring a tall, narrow kettle of water to a boil; we recommend using a light beef stock instead of water for the tastiest gravy. Add pickling spices and cabbage ball. Some of our readers suggest adding extra pickling spices for more flavor.
Simmer gently for about an hour and a quarter. Remove from the cloth and place the ball of meat and cabbage on a platter. With the spiced water the meat was boiled in, make a brown flour gravy. Very good with mashed potatoes.