Stuffed Cabbage Casserole
I've been missing my mother's Jewish-style stuffed cabbage and, since the main thing that keeps me from making it is the labor-intensity of it, I've been thinking of turning it into a casserole. Some internet recipes use a slow cooker, which I do not have. The recipes vary as to whether of not to saute the beef and onions or use them raw, and whether or not to cook the rice first. Of course they are also all over the place as to cooking time and temperature.
Does anyone have firsthand experience with this type of dish? I'm not looking for a recipe since I love my mother's version but some help with technique.
Personally, I prefer to stuff the cabbage rolls (or casserole) with raw ingredients and slowly simmer everything together to meld the flavors thoroughly. I recognize that precooking (browning) the meat offers another level of flavor for the dish from the browned proteins but that's not the flavor I'm looking for in this style of dish. Furthermore, using the rice raw allows the starches from the rice to thicken the liquids (I often find myself basting the casserole to maintain moisture in the dish) and that (IMO) improves the overall flavor. Besides, my grandmother was born to the Kujaht family in Bessarabia. She used raw ingredients so I'd never change her recipe; it'd be heresy.
I have a recipe for "stuffed" cabbage casserole which I have made many times, and enjoyed. My recipe does call for browning the meat first, but does not call for pre- cooking the rice. It also suggests that it should take 11/2 hours in a 350 oven, for 2 pounds of ground beef.
Hope that answered some of your questions.
livelove, It says this makes 12 servings, but not with the crew i serve it to!!
Here it is:
Stuffed Cabbage Casserole
2 pounds beef, ground 1 cup uncooked white rice
1 cup chopped onion 1 teaspoon salt
29- ounce can tomato sauce 2 (14 ounce) cans beef broth
3 1/2 pounds cabbage, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Brown beef in oil, over medium/ high heat, in a large skillet. Drain fat
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine onion, salt, tomato sauce, rice, cabbage
4. Add meat and mix all together
5. Pour mixture into a 13 x 9 baking dish and pour broth over meat
6. Bake, covered, in preheated oven for 1 hour. Stir, replace cover and bake for another 30 minutes
I hope you enjoy it as much as we do
I was thinking you could stuff the whole cabbage with your mother's ingredients...cooked first. Remove the tough outer leaves from the cabbage. Remove 2 large leaves and set aside. Cut out stem and carve out a bowl leaving about 1" thick walls, as for a bread bowl. Mix and sautee your ingredients and add the tomato sauce, fill cabbage bowl. Cover with the reserved cabbage leaves. Place in a casserole or other baking pan which will hold the cabbage and some added stock. Bake for ?? minutes - till cabbage is thoroughly cooked - in a moderate oven.
Or: You could simply keep the cabbage whole and fill in between the leaves with the mixture then bake.....
Okay. How about just making the cabbage rolls less labor intensive? Freeze the head of cabbage. Thaw. Pull off leaves. Use for rolls. No need to boil cabbage, etc. Works great.