At the forefront is the cabbage casserole with the filling oozing out. In the background is the stuffed cabbage roll. Sometimes stuffed cabbage rolls aren’t as flavorful as they should be. However, I made up for all the unflavorful cabbage rolls as this dish had an abundance!
This is another “kitchen sink” dish that consisted mainly of:
- Ground beef and veal (leftover)
- Onion (laying around)
- Carrots (laying around)
- Cauliflower (leftover)
- Red cabbage (laying around)
On a side note, I had too many ideas (about 3) in my head, so this took forever to make as I wavered in indecision. I initially bought red cabbage to make sauerkraut, but then didn’t get around to it. This happens quite frequently…
Then I realized I had all the ingredients to make stuffed cabbage rolls — but then I became lethargic with the thought of rolling so many of them individually.
I thought about making beef and vegetable soup — just dump everything in a pot and let it go! So I started to prepare all the mise en place and then finally decided LET’S JUST MAKE CABBAGE ROLLS AND CABBAGE CASSEROLE! 😀 So vegetable soup, you will have to wait!
I ended up making TWO stuffed cabbage rolls (hehehe!) and turning the rest into a casserole/”lasagnesque.” It was a, “I’ll have that cake and eat it too” moment… I did get some inspiration from a few websites:
- All about stuffed cabbage, with pictures of proper rolling too!: http://www.dlc.fi/~marian1/gourmet/7_3.htm
- Beautiful cabbage cake: http://www.prouditaliancook.com/2014/11/stuffed-cabbage-cake.html
- Inspiration for cabbage soup (next time!): https://www.spendwithpennies.com/cabbage-roll-soup-2/
Anyway, traditional cabbage rolls have rice in them, but I had too much cauliflower to let it go to waste, so I pulverized it into “rice” and used that as part of the filling. You can say this might be “keto”-esque, with no starches. The tomatoes and carrots might be too much in terms of sugar, but I have no idea how much they each contribute, nor do I care (since I’m not on any diet!). For those that care, they’ll just have to look it up! 😀
The last time I made stuffed cabbage rolls, it took about an hour and half to bake it all with raw ingredients (i.e. uncooked rice, meat, etc). I thought I could pare down the timing this time by cooking everything and then stuffing/layering it. Thought, it really didn’t save much time when all was said and done. So perhaps next time I will go back to the leave-everything-uncooked version (less work). The jist of the prep this time was sauteing the meat, veg and seasonings, then combining that with the beaten eggs and cheese for binding properties. Layer the filling between cabbage leaves and bake it (until the eggs are cooked, essentially). I was worried this would be bland, so I added a bunch of cheese (not usually my cooking style, but I have so much cheddar cheese leftover from not making enough burgers…). It turned out SUPER flavorful. However, I still like stuffed cabbage rolls better. It’s kind of like Mexican food — do you like all your ingredients separately? Or would you prefer it in a burrito? I’d prefer the burrito. 😛
The one thing I would change is cooking the cabbage longer, either in the boiling water or in the oven for a softer texture. Other than that, this dish is reminiscent of a cheeseburger, lasagne, and stuffed cabbage all-in-one! So if you like all three of those things, then you would like this. Here’s my recipe:
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls OR Cabbage Casserole
1 head of red cabbage
1# ground beef & veal combo (s&p well)
1 C cauliflower “rice”
1 yellow onion, minced in food processor
1 package of garlic cloves (approx 15 small cloves), minced in food processor
1 sprig of rosemary, minced in food processor
3 carrots, shredded
20 oz tomato sauce
2 T Italian seasoning
2 T paprika
1 T Thyme
1 T garlic powder
¼ C worcestershire
2 eggs, beaten
¼ C parmesan, grated/shredded
¼ C pecorino, grated/shredded
6 slices of tillamook cheddar cheese
s&p to taste
- Wash, core, and bring cabbage to a boil in a pot of salt water. Remove cabbage leaves when they are completely soft (hard vein in the middle should be soft enough so rolling/stuffing is easier).
- In a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, mince onions, garlic, and rosemary. In the same food processor fitted with a shredder attachment, shred the carrots.
- In a cast iron, saute onions, carrots, herbs, and cauliflower in chicken fat with salt and black pepper and cook until softened. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Saute meat (add more chicken fat if needed) in the same cast iron and add worcestershire, 10 oz tomato sauce, italian seasoning, fresh garlic, garlic powder, rosemary, paprika, thyme, salt & black pepper. Allow liquid to reduce by half.
- Combine meat, parmesan, pecorino, and vegetable mixture and allow to cool. Mix in two beaten eggs.
- Stuff filling in cabbage leaves and place it in a casserole dish, seam side down OR do the unstuffed cabbage in a casserole dish by layering the ingredients as follows:
- Bottom – Cabbage leaves to cover the casserole dish
- Bottom Middle – Meat and veg filling
- Middle – Six slices of cheddar cheese
- Top middle – Cabbage leaves
- Top – Add the rest of the tomato sauce to cover. Optionally, add more cheese on the top.
- Cook at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly and cabbage is soft.