Cabbage Roll Casserole
This is a fairly new classic around my house. I've made geniune cabbage rolls for years. If you've ever made a batch, you know how time consuming this can be. This recipe gives you the flavour of cabbage rolls without the long preparation time and the mess.
- 2 medium or 1 large cabbage
- 1 to 1.5 lbs (.5 to .75 kg) ground beef
- 1 or 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 1 to 1.5 cups (250 to 375 ml) regular short grain rice (not instant or converted)
- 1 or 2 28 oz (750 ml) cans diced stewed tomatoes
- salt, pepper
- tomato juice or extra stewed tomatoes
- Time: 3 to 4 hours from start to finish
- Servings: 4 or more
- To prepare filling, cook ground beef, onion, salt and pepper over medium heat til the pinkness is gone. Turn burner off and cover frying pan to keep meat warm.
- At the same time, bring rice, along with an equal amount of water, to a boil, stirring occassionally. Turn burner off, cover pot, and let it sit til you need it.
- Remove the first few outer leaves from the cabbage. You'll need enough to cover both the bottom and the top of the casserole dish(es). Cut the rest of the cabbage into quarters and shred it, using whatever means is easiest for you. This can be a bit messy if you get enthuiastic with your shredding. :)
- Once the cabbage is all shredded, you're ready to assemble the casserole. Mix the ground beef and rice together thoroughly, adding a bit more salt and pepper if you like.
- Place a layer of whole leaves in the bottom of the dish. Next goes a layer of shredded cabbage. Then a layer of the meat and rice mixture. Lastly a soup ladle or two full of stewed tomatoes. Repeat this once or twice more, depending on the depth of your casserole dish. After the last tomato layer, add another of shredded cabbage, a few more stewed tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then cover the whole thing with a few more whole cabbage leaves.
- Cover and place in a 325 to 350 F oven for 1.5 to 2 hours, adding some tomato juice from time to time if it seems to be drying out or burning.
- Be sure the casserole doesn't dry out, adding a few spoonsful of water if necessary during cooking.
- This recipe makes 1 to 2 casseroles, depending on the size of the dishes (and the cabbage!).
- To reheat leftovers, Sprinkle with about .25 cups of water and place in the oven for an hour at 325 F.
- Genuine cabbage rolls have more rice than meat in the filling, it's a poor man's meal after all, but I usually use this larger amount of meat in the casserole to make a more substantial meal.
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