Stuffed cabbage rolls were on my mother's regular meal rotation when I was a kid. And I loved them. Even the cabbage part. As a very young woman on my own, I kept a crazy schedule with a full time job and grad school at night. No time to cook much and mostly what was in my fridge was yogurt. Except on those lovely evenings when I'd get home late, open the fridge and find that my mother had dropped by during the day and left me a pot of her homemade cabbage rolls. She was such a good mommy.
Over the weekend, though, a head of cabbage went to better use when I made my friend Carla's Haluski recipe. So good! But while I was stirring the cabbage, a light bulb went on over my head. Why don't I just deconstruct my beloved cabbage rolls? All the exact same ingredients, all the same flavors but without the tedium. I'll admit the final result isn't as pretty as a neatly tucked roll but I promise you it tastes exactly the same. And this recipe is now going into my regular meal rotation. Enjoy!
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour
Ingredients (4 Servings)
- 1 lb. Ground beef
- 1 Tablespoon olive or canola oil
- 1 Onion, peeled and diced
- 4 Cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 5 oz. Tomato paste
- 1 1/2 Cups chicken stock
- 1 Small head green cabbage, chopped (about 3 cups chopped)
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, add the oil and saute the onion until soft and translucent. Stir in the garlic for a few seconds then stir in the tomato paste. Whisk in the chicken stock and add the chopped cabbage. Bring to a boil, cover and lower the heat to medium low. Cook for 45 minutes.
Stir in the cooked beef, cover and continue to cook for an additional 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. If you'd like a thicker sauce, make a slurry by whisking together a tablespoon of flour and a bit of water and stirring it into the tomato sauce.
Serve over rice, for a traditional cabbage roll flavor or even potatoes or noodles.
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