As I’m sure everyone is aware, last weekend (not this past weekend, the last, last weekend) was Easter and Passover. I hope everyone had a lovely holiday! S is jewish, I am not, and unfortunately neither of us could make it home to be with our families. Instead, we decided to cook our own holiday dinner (and take pictures of it of course – because that’s totally normal…) with brisket and stuffed cabbage.
We probably discussed the recipe and the technique for a couple of hours. S had never made it himself before, and I had never eaten, seen or cooked stuffed cabbage before. I did a lot of recipe research and came up with a fairly good idea of what was supposed to be happening and when. Interestingly enough, S’s brother was trying stuffed cabbage for the first time that weekend too, so it was a cross-country stuffed cabbage extravaganza.
Also, did I forget to mention that stuffed cabbage is freaking delicious? I really, really liked it. I think we can consider it healthy since it has a good dose of vegetables and no carbs. Also, if you’re keeping kosher, you wouldn’t put any cheese on it (you also wouldn’t use a bacon marinara recipe for the sauce, which we did).
Stuffed Cabbage (very loosely adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
1 head green cabbage
1 pound ground beef or turkey (we used turkey)
1 package mushrooms, chopped (I prefer portabella)
1 small to medium onion, chopped small
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 to 4 cups simple tomato or marinara sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
Remember the mirepoix? It’s ba-ack. And will probably be included in every recipe I can stick it in from here on out.
Chop the onion, celery and carrot and saute in the olive oil on low heat for 5-10 minutes or until soft.
While you’re sauteeing, chop the mushrooms, and then add them to the pan for an additional 5 minutes.
Mix the egg and turkey.
Yeah, it looks gross. I agree. I let S take care of the “turkey mixing” process. Usually when dividing up kitchen tasks, I take care of all the chopping and he takes care of the meat.
Also add the vegetables and mushrooms, salt and pepper to the turkey and mix thoroughly. At this point, you’ll also want to put a small pot of water on the stove to boil (we forgot this step and wished we hadn’t)
So, prior to stuffing the leaves, you should cut out the core but leave the head of cabbage intact, and then pour a small pot of boiling water over the head of cabbage in a bowl, allowing it to sit for 10 minutes. We forgot this step, and the cabbage leaves were a little too tough while eating. Don’t get me wrong, they were still totally edible, but I think this step is a valuable one. We individually cut the stalk out of each leaf without boiling (and you will still need to ensure the large veins are removed from each leaf regardless).
From here, we cut the leaf in half. Each large leaf should make 2 rolls. Smaller leaves will make one each, and you may need to trip to get a good piece that isn’t broken. Dry the leaves with paper towels.
Roll 1/4-1/3 cup of the filling into each leaf. When rolling the leaves, I was envisioning an envelope. Fold up the bottom portion, then fold in either side and roll tightly. It certainly does not need to be perfect.
Most recipes I saw then instructed to arrange in a large pot, but we decided to use the crockpot (gasp). It worked like a charm!
Layer the rolls, and cover each layer evenly with marinara sauce.
Now, if cooking in a pot on the stove, bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. As we were using the slow cooker, it took longer, about 3-4 hours.
Serve with sauce from the pot and enjoy!
We kept going back for seconds… and thirds. They also reheated extremely well the next day. The batch didn’t survive the weekend.