Growing up making stuffed cabbages in the summer was a never ending thing in our house. Since we had a big garden and grew mostly everything we ate, stuffed cabbages were abundant. They are pretty simple to make and 1 large head can feed a bunch of people. Well okay in my house maybe not as with 4 huge older brothers, a sister, parents and neighbors/friends dropping in we always had a ton. No really… like a TON! But it’s comfort food and just delicious. It’s something you make with just a few ingredients. It was inexpensive and filling.
Cabbage is one of those things that it’s a rather simplistic vegetable but the ways to incorporate it into a recipe is truly diverse. From basic cabbage and noodles to Asian dishes and the whole gamut in between! So when I was out I bought a head of cabbage with every intention of making stuffed cabbage rolls. Well a few weeks (*hangs her head* yes weeks) passed and I kind of forgot about this head of cabbage in my fridge. So when I re-found it, I kinda panicked that it may have gone bad and one thing I hate HATE is wasting food. Fortunately it was still good. Whew! Since I was still a few weeks post-op, I didn’t have the energy to sit and roll a bajillion cabbage rolls. Sure Mr. Fantabulous would have done it as he’s been absolutely amazing during my whole surgery recovery but I’m that solo artist in the kitchen. It’s often, honestly, tough for me to ask for help. I’m stubborn and like things a certain way (clean as you go) and honestly it’s like my domain. It’s where I find solace and comfort. I love having people in the kitchen with me but just sit and talk with me. I’ll ask you to chop or what not if I need you to but seriously just talk with me instead.
Anyway since I wasn’t up for the task of rolling them I decided to go unstuffed and make it like a lasagna. I mean seriously why not? It’s just layers of cabbage, meat mixture and sauce. We know the leaves hold up cause they do when you wrap ’em, so why not in a lasagna type fashion?
This cooked up perfectly! Tender layers of cabbage, meat, rice and sauce. Seriously this was so good that I didn’t miss rolling them at all. Actually I may keep them this way from now on. It was so easy and took hardly any time to put it all together. I think the longest waiting time was cooking it. This is one of those dishes that takes hours to cook, just like regular stuffed cabbage. So throw it on earlier in the day, go have some well deserved ‘me’ time and then enjoy the fruits of your labor for dinner.
Seriously, don’t you just want dive into this picture fork first? I served this up with a heaping side of my Perfect Mashed Potatoes. God I LOVE LOVE LOVE mashed potatoes with this red gravy it produces. So thick and tomato-y. LOVE IT!
- 1 medium size head cabbage (about 3-4 pounds)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 1 medium onion, chopped small
- 3 Tbl minced garlic
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp parsley flakes
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 Tbl Worcestershire
- 4 cups cooked, cooled rice (white or brown) - cook it in beef broth for better flavor!
- 3 10.75 ounce cans tomato soup (if using a deep dish pan with a 3” side use 4 cans)
- Preheat oven to 350F, rack in the center.
- Remove core from cabbage.
- Place whole head in a large pot filled with boiling, salted water.
- Cover and cook 3 minutes, or until softened enough to pull off individual leaves.
- When the leaves are cool enough, use a paring knife to cut away the thick center stem from each leaf, without cutting all the way through.
- In a large bowl, add in the ground beef, pork, rice, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, eggs, ketchup, Worcestershire and parsley.
- Mix gently to combine.
- Add in 2/3rd of a can of tomato soup (almost 3/4 of a cup) and mix.
- In a glass 9x13” pan, spread out the remaining soup from the open can on the bottom of the pan.
- Open up a 2nd can and pour out 1/2 of it and spread out until the bottom of the pan in covered in a light coating.
- Lay down half of the leaves on the bottom of the pan – about 2 layers of leaves.
- Depending on how deep your pan is, spread out either all or half of the meat/rice mixture over top of the cabbage leaves evenly (in my pan I could only get 1 layer though if you have a deep dish pan, go for multiple layers if possible).
- Top with the remaining half can of soup.
- If you using a standard size pan (not deep dish) cover with 2 layers of cabbage leaves and top with the remaining can of soup. If using a deep dish pan, add a single layer of cabbage and the remaining meat following by the rest of the cabbage leaves. Be sure to leave enough leaves to cover the top.
- Cover with the remaining can of soup and spread out evenly.
- Spray the underneath of a large piece of foil.
- Place foil side down on the pan and close tightly around the dish.
- Place the pan on a larger cookie sheet to catch any spillovers.
- Bake for 3 – 4 hours or until the cabbage is tender when pierced with a knife.