I've been meaning to make stuffed peppers for years, but always though it was too much work. My grandmother made them for us when we were kids. I didn't like cooked pepper then, but I loved tomato sauce with meat and rice. Of course we'd make it extra yummy by adding sugar to the sauce. I think all kids do that, don't they?
Needless to say, I think I found my new favorite. Stuffed Cabbage Casserole. Recipe is adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen.
Stuffed cabbage is a popular dish in Polish cuisine, though I never tried it. I've paired cabbage and tomatoes before, when making mom's Chicken Cabbage Tomato Soup. So even before I started working on stuffed cabbage dish I was pretty sure I'm going to love it.
Kalyn combined some of my favorite childhood flavors, simplifying the process of making stuffed cabbage, into an amazingly tasty and really easy to prepare casserole dish. I'm serving it to the guys who are helping us today to chop the firewood.
We don't eat beef so I used pork sausage we also made ourselves. I also utilized tomatoes from our garden, and tomato soup I made this year. I made whooping 30 quarts, and I'm planning on using it as tomato sauce base as well. It is very tasty.
Don't worry you can use turkey or beef if you'd like. Make it work for you, it is really worth the try.
Stuffed Cabbage Casserole (I used my Ikea oven dish, 10x14)
1 pound ground pork, you can also use turkey or beef if you'd like
1garlic clove, pressed
1garlic clove, chopped
1 tsp Hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp caraway seeds, ground
1 large onion, finely chopped
olive oil, about 2tbl, divided
1 large fresh head of cabbage or 1 1/2 smaller ones.
1/2tsp whole caraway seeds
1 can (14.5oz) small dice tomatoes, with juice ( or use fresh tomatoes without skin, and cut into small cubes)
16 oz ( 2cups) tomato soup, I used my homemade soup, or use good tomato sauce
2 cups cooked rice
freshly ground pepper
Cheese, about 1cup low far mozzarella cheese
- Spray casserole dish with a nonstick spray
- Preheat oven to 350F
- In a bowl, season ground pork, with pressed garlic, paprika, ground caraway seeds, salt and pepper, stir until well combined. Taste.
- In a deep skillet, heat 1tbl olive oil, add chopped onion and sautee until translucent. Add chopped garlic and thyme.
- Add ground pork and cook on high for 2 minutes, stirring.
- Add dice tomatoes, tomato soup(or tomato sauce). Season with salt and pepper if needed. Simmer for 20 minutes until mixture has thicken slightly.
- In the mean time, chop cabbage head, either by hand or using a food processor. Chop/slice cabbage into medium pieces.
- In another skillet, heat remaining 1tbl oil. add chopped/sliced cabbage, season with salt and whole caraway seeds. Cook until cabbage is about 1/2 way cooked.
- Into the tomato meat mixture add 2cup cooked rice. Stir gently.
- Layer cabbage and meat filling into the casserole dish. Starting with the cabbage then layer meat then cabbage, finishing with meat.
- Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil.
- Bake for 45 minutes.
- If desired, spread 1cup of cheese on the top, return to the oven and continue baking until cheese is melted and top is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven. Serve warm.