Stuffed cabbage rolls - Unstuffed recipe
Time is a problem for most
For some of us cooking is a wonderful experience that we enjoy, no matter if it takes hours to prepare. For a bigger share of the population, time does not permit hours of preparing foods, so the end result may be going to the restaurant for take out. Some restaurants have good food, but is just not quite the flavor that home cooking provides.
Stuffed Cabbage rolls may be something you remember from your childhood that your Grandma or Mother would spend all day on, the outcome? Delicious. Bring those childhood memories back to your family. Getting the kids to participate in this job is easy, most kids like getting their hands dirty. Let them be the ones to squish the meat between their fingers. Remember to wash those little hands first please! This is one dish that I have no problem getting helpers!
I have taken an old recipe and turned it into a newer time saving, delicious meal. This is not one that Rachel Ray will be having on her show anytime soon, because the cooking time is more than 30 minutes. But it is easy and delicious. And I have taken the fear out of preparing this dish, since you won’t have to learn how to make those cute little bundles of yumminess. The work has been cut in half and you still get all the flavor! Save making stuffed cabbage rolls for a day when you have more time.
Plan your shopping list
1 small head of cabbage or 1 large cut in half cored and chopped.
3 lbs Good ground beef (81% - 19% works best, ground sirloin is tasty but you will need a little fat for the best flavor)
1 ¼ C. whole grain white rice
1 Cup diced onion
1 tsp garlic minced
1 small can tomato paste (6 oz)
½ cup hot water with 2 tsp. good beef bouillon dissolved (allow to cool before adding to meat)
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1 28 oz can tomato sauce
1 28 oz can whole or crushed tomatoes
1 lb bag sauerkraut (or 1 quart of fresh canned if you can get your hands on it)
The right tools make the job easier
Large mixing bowl
Measuring cups and spoons
Crock pot, Dutch Oven, 9 x 13 baking dish or whatever type of pan you feel comfortable using.
Chop cabbage into large pieces, 2 inch, set aside. In large mixing bowl mix beef onions, garlic, rice, tomato paste, dried herbs, and eggs. Add water mixture and mix well, I use my hands for this job, makes mixing easier. Form into balls or logs, whatever shape you desire.
For the purpose of this explanation we will be using the crock pot.
Place a layer of cabbage, tomato sauce and some of the sauerkraut on bottom of crock pot. Place layer of meat balls on top of this, keeping small spaces between balls (this assists in flavor absorbing into meat and helps rice cook). Layer again cabbage, tomato sauce and sauerkraut. Repeat until all meat, cabbage and sauerkraut is used. Top with can of tomatoes (if using whole, crush with hands before using). You have effectively ‘un-stuffed’ your cabbage rolls!
Turn on low and cook for 8 - 10 hours. If using High setting you will only need to cook 4 - 6 hours. If cooking on stove top, about 2 -3 hours on low setting, you don’t want to scorch. If baking in the oven about 1 - 1 ½ hours at 350 degrees. You may want to put a layer of aluminum foil under to prevent any messes should it bubble over.
This same meat recipe can be used to make stuffed green peppers as well! Just omit the cabbage, sauerkraut and layering. Just cut off the tops of the peppers, trim the bottom of this, remove seeds, rinse well with water and stuff the meat mixture into the peppers. Put into baking or cooking utensil, bake or cook about the same time.
If this recipe looks interesting, you might enjoy these other ‘easy to follow’ recipes by this writer.
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