"Unrolled" Cabbage Rolls
Cabbage roll flavor without the hassle
The Inspiration Behind the Dish
I love cabbage rolls. They are hearty and have that wonderfully tangy yet sweet flavor. Unfortunately, they are a pain in the backside to try to make. I rarely have the time or inclination to parboil the cabbage, pull off the leaves without ripping them, and create nice beautiful rolls. I have thought a long time about creating my own version of "deconstructed" cabbage rolls using traditional ingredients and flavors but in a much easier format. This recipe is the end result. I must say that I gave myself a little pat on the back after this one - it turned out quite delicious if I do say so myself.
- 1 1/2 pounds ground meat, (mixture of ground beef and ground pork)
- About 2 teaspoons Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1/2 cup carrot, finely diced
- 2 - 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small to medium head of cabbage
- Brown your ground meat in a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat until it is about halfway done. I used mixture of ground beef and ground pork; however, you can use any ground meat you prefer. I think this dish would be equally good with ground chicken or turkey. I would suggest using meat with a little fat to keep the dish from becoming too dry.
- Once the meat is about halfway browned, add the onion, carrots, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley, and allspice.
- Once the meat is completely browned, drain off the excess grease.
- Add in the cabbage, tomato sauce, brown sugar and bay leaf. Stir well to make sure all of your ingredients are incorporated. If you prefer a much sweeter sauce, you can add more brown sugar.
- Reduce the heat to simmer and cover, stirring occasionally.
- When the cabbage is tender, remove the bay leaf, adjust the seasonings, and serve over rice.
What the heck is allspice?
Allspice is the dried fruit of the Pimenta dioica tree. The tree is native to Mexico, Central America, and the Greater Antilles but can be found in many warm climates around the world. The spice was given its name by the English in the 17th century because they thought that it tasted like a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
In the United States, the spice is usually associated with desserts. In Carribean and Middle Eastern cuisine, the spice is often used in savory dishes such as jerk and curries. Allspice is also a common ingredient in many sausages.
© 2015 Vicki Holder