Just because you’ve got yourself a cabbage that’s on the miniscule side doesn’t mean you can’t have cabbage rolls. Granted it’s a lot easier to make the things when you’re working with large cabbage leaves, but we found such a gorgeous little head of cabbage at the market on Saturday, I figured I’d think outside the box and stuff the whole thing.
I cut around the core and steamed the leaves off the same as you would when making the rolled version then dried off the leaves and placed them into a small bowl, weaving them together like they were when God made the original head of cabbage.
I filled the inside of the bowl with stuffing consisting of sautéed onion and garlic, ground beef, and cooked rice spiced up with garlic powder, Herbs de Provence, salt and lots of pepper. Bound together with a couple of eggs, I packed it all in much like a giant meatball, then placed the rest of the cabbage leaves on top and folded the outer cabbage layers over that. Then I tied the whole thing up into a ball with string to keep it all together.
Placed in a casserole dish on a bed of rinsed and well drained sauerkraut and topped with tomato sauce along with a can of Rotel, it hit the oven for an hour and 15 minutes. It went into the oven looking list this ...
...and ended up looking like this!
Garnished with a dollop of Daisy, it tasted even better than I imagined and you all know me - I’m my own worse critic but I sure as heck couldn’t think of anything wrong to say about this experiment. By the way, my version’s inspired by a recipe from Elise at Simply Recipes for pork filled cabbage rolls that we had here before so hit this link and follow the trail to Elise’s site.
Whole Stuffed Cabbage (inspired by a Simply Recipes)
1 small whole green cabbage (about 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup cooked rice
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
1 large jar sauerkraut
1 -8 ounce can tomato sauce
3/4 cup water
1 10 ounce can Rotel tomatoes with green chiles
Sour cream as garnish
Fill a pot big enough to hold the head of cabbage with boiling water and heat over medium high heat. Remove any damaged outer leaves from cabbage and cut around the core. Place in boiling water, cover pot and steam to loosen leaves. Remove cabbage from water and remove leaves as they loosen. Arrange leaves in a bowl, overlapping them to cover bottom and sides, using the bowl as a mold. Return cabbage to boiling water and repeat process until you’ve used up all the leaves. Set some aside to cover the top of the cabbage once it is stuffed.
Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat and sauté onion and garlic until onion has softened. Cool slightly and place into a large bowl. Add ground beef, rice, eggs, paprika, salt, pepper and Herbs de Provence and mix together well to combine. Pile the meat mixture into the cabbage lined bowl, packing it in and rounding the top slightly like a giant meatball. Place reserved cabbage leaves on top, then fold over sides of cabbage leaves to cover top. Flip the whole thing out of the bowl and tie tightly with kitchen twine so it stays together as it cooks.
Preheat oven to 350. Empty sauerkraut into a colander and rinse well under running water. Squeeze water out of sauerkraut and place into bottom of a large casserole dish with a cover. Place tied stuffed cabbage on top of sauerkraut. Top with tomato sauce, water and Rotel. Cover casserole and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
When cooked, remove string from cabbage and cut into wedges. Serve on sauerkraut tomato mixture and garnish with sour cream. Makes 6 servings.