bcmom's kitchen

bcmom's kitchen

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Not-Stuffed Cabbage - a Casserole

I've never had stuffed cabbage.  I haven't the faintest clue how one would even go about stuffing cabbage, but it does sound like more work than I want to do.  However, when I saw this layered version on Pinterest, I knew I had to try it.  Of course, I didn't follow the recipe exactly...

Not-Stuffed Cabbage

  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp hot Hungarian Paprika
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste 
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
  • water - enough to rinse cans
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice 
  • 1 to 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 head green cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese 
  • Parmesan 
  1. In skillet, cook ground beef, adding onion, garlic, and green pepper as you get them chopped.  Cook until beef is browned and vegetables are tender; add spices.
  2. Reduce heat to low and add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and water.  Simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until hot and slightly thickened.
  3. While it simmers, heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Chop cabbage, adding it to skillet as you go. Cook over medium-high heat until the cabbage is wilted and about half cooked, stirring frequently. Season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper.
  4. When the meat and tomato sauce mixture has cooked and thickened, stir in the 2 cups cooked rice.
  5. Grease a 13x9" baking dish and layer half the cabbage in the bottom of the dish.  Follow with half the meat mixture, the other half of the cabbage, and the remaining meat mixture.
  6. Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes at 350°.
  7. Remove foil, spread mozzarella cheese over the top and sprinkle with some Parmesan. Return to over and bake, uncovered, an additional 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starting to slightly brown. Remove from oven, and let sit 5 minutes or so.  Serve hot.

     This turned out really good. The flavors go really well together.  It started smelling amazing as soon as I added the spices to the hamburger!  And the cheese on top?  So good!

    The original recipe did not call for green pepper, but I had half of one that needed used, so that's why I threw it in.  I also only used 8 oz. of tomato sauce - instead of the 16 oz. called for - because I messed up and only got one can out! Since I only used 1/2 lb. hamburger instead of the full pound, maybe that was best...  It's a casserole - you can adjust the ingredients to suit your tastes or to use what you have.

    The cabbage could have used a bit more salt, but that's my fault - when it says salt and pepper to taste, it really means to taste it!  I just usually sprinkle it on until it looks good.  Also, next time I want to cut the cabbage into smaller pieces - perhaps more like coarsely shredded.  The original recipe said to chop it into pieces about 1 inch in size, so I left my cabbage fairly large this time.  It was OK, but I think it will be better smaller. 

    Also, I see no real reason for the layers.  Once you bake this, you really can't tell it's layered.  I'm thinking just mix the meat, tomato sauce, rice mixture together with the cabbage, pour it all into the baking dish, and bake as directed.

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