Deconstructed Stuffed Cabbage
This dish is a deconstructed form of stuffed cabbage that I learned to make from my mother-in-law. The beauty of this recipe is that you get all the great taste of stuffed cabbage without all the work. I made a few changes to the recipe; for example, I add pork to the beef to give it more flavor, and I enhance the sauce with diced tomatoes and chicken stock. This dish is great left over and it serves a lot of people. A side dish suggestion is mashed potatoes. They go great with this dish.
1 – medium sized head of cabbage
1 1/4 – lbs. ground pork
1 1/4 – lbs. ground beef
1 – medium onion diced
1 – cup cooked rice
2 – tbls. canola oil
2 – 10.75 oz. cans tomato soup
12 – oz. chicken broth (preferably organic, low sodium brand)
1 – 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 – tbls. white vinegar
1 – tsp. salt
1 – tsp. ground black pepper to taste
2 – tbls. butter
Cook 1 cup of rice according to the directions, be sure to salt the water. Do not over cook the rice because it will cook more in the oven. Meanwhile, add 2 tbls. canola oil to a large skillet, add diced onion and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the ground meat, breaking it up into crumbles. Add about 1/2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. ground black pepper and cook until no longer pink. Add the cooked rice to the meat mixture and combine thoroughly. Set aside until ready to assemble.
Cut the head of cabbage in half and remove the core.
Rinse the cabbage and pat dry. Cut the half cabbage in half again and use a large kitchen knife to thinly slice the cabbage.
Place the cabbage in a large 11 x 13 deep dish baking or lasagna pan, making a bed of cabbage. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt and mix through. Next add the meat mixture on top of the cabbage.
Prepare the sauce in a large bowl by mixing together the tomato soup, sugar, vinegar, chicken stock, water, and diced tomatoes. Pour over the meat and cabbage. Cut the 2 tbls. of butter into small pieces and scatter over the top.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350o for 1 hour 45 min. until most of the liquid is absorbed. Check periodically to make sure it does not dry out. You can add more chicken broth if necessary. Remove the aluminum foil and cook an additional 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven, cover and let rest about 20 minutes before serving.
Note: For those who like more sauce on their individual serving, you can make extra.
Combine the following ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
1 – can tomato soup
6 – oz. chicken broth
6 – oz. diced tomatoes
1 – tbls. white vinegar
pinch of salt
pinch of ground black pepper to taste
1 – tsp. butter