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Deconstructed Stuffed Cabbage

Deconstructed Stuffed Cabbage - A Family Feast

Over the last month or so, as Jack and I started to plan out our holiday recipes to share here on A Family Feast, we spent a lot of time talking about old family recipes!

On Jack’s side of the family – Italian fare was the standard, so recipes like beef braciole and lasagna were part of many holiday meals!  On my side of the family – I clearly remember making classic spritz cookies and peanut goodies with my mom, and being Polish, we always served kielbasa, pierogi and golumpki (pronounced (gaw-WOHMP-kee) – or what is more commonly known in the United States as stuffed cabbage rolls.

This recipe for Deconstructed Stuffed Cabbage is a different variation of the golumpki I grew up with (we’ll share my family recipe soon!) – and credit for today’s recipe goes to our daughter Courtney.  Making stuffed cabbage rolls can be somewhat time consuming – and working with the large cabbage leaves can be tricky – but our deconstructed stuffed cabbage is a quick and easier version that even a novice cook can easily make!

Deconstructed Stuffed Cabbage - A Family Feast

This recipe uses brown rice – making it a healthier version – and a mixture of ground beef, pork and veal (if you prefer not to use veal, just replace that with additional ground pork), as well as chopped cabbage and sauerkraut.  The flavorful sauce is a combination of tomato juice, tomato paste, vinegar, and seasonings – and all of the ingredients come together as a wonderful one-pot meal!

This deconstructed stuffed cabbage is a great option for feeding a crowd at a holiday meal – as well as a quick dinner option any day of the week!

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Deconstructed Stuffed Cabbage

  • Prep Time: 40 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 10-12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked short-grain brown rice (or any rice of your choice)
  • 1 ½ pounds green cabbage, cleaned, cored and cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces raw bacon diced
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons tart red wine such as merlot
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90/10)
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • ½ pound ground veal (if you can’t get ground veal, increase ground pork to one pound)
  • 2 cups tomato juice (or for a more intense flavor, our daughter Courtney suggests using V-8)
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup drained sauerkraut

Instructions

  1. Cook rice according to package directions. Try to time rice so that it finishes cooking as the preparation of the dish nears the end. If rice is cooked to soon, fluff and leave at room temperature to cool.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch cabbage chunks for five minutes. Drain, cool and set aside.
  3. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, place olive oil and bacon and cook until bacon is almost browned, about 4 minutes. Increase heat to medium high and add onions and sauté for three minutes. Add garlic and sauté for one more minute. Add red wine and deglaze the pan.
  4. Move the cooked onion mixture to the edges of the pan and place all three meats into the center. Keep moving the meat around to brown and slowly work in onion mixture until the meat is fully browned.
  5. Add tomato juice, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, thyme, paprika, salt and pepper. Reduce to medium and simmer for five minutes.
  6. Add in sauerkraut, cooked rice and cooked cabbage. Bring back up to heat and simmer for five more minutes.
  7. Adjust seasoning and serve.

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Comments

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  1. I love easier recipes like this! Sounds delicious!

  2. I’m so trying this this weekend. I’m Polish and Ukranian and grew up on stuffed cabbage. My mom taught me to make it and I have a few times but, as I’m sure you know, it’s a lot of work. This sounds so good!

  3. this looks fantastic! Does it freeze well? Thanks!

  4. I love your traditional, warm and flavorful recipes.
    Could you scale this one down for me to 4-6 servings.
    Many thanks.

  5. Love your page and I can’t wait to try this recipe. Unfortunately, my Baci passed away before she could teach me how to make golumpki’s. Thank you for sharing. :O)

  6. Could you use red/purple cabbage instead of the green?

  7. I’ve never had stuffed cabbage but this looked good so I gave it a try. Definitely yummy! A little greasy though – I might need to drain part of the fat next time. Also might try with a little bit more rice. Thanks for the recipe!

  8. My mother in law would make this easier version of her time consuming cabbage rolls- she would make a large batch & freeze it in smaller portions. Reheating in the oven was always just as good as freshly made. Can’t wait to do this recipe myself soon! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Wow!!! I made this last night and it was ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! I wasn’t too sure about the brown rice and sauerkraut but I love stuffed cabbage, I had some cabbage that needed to used, and I wanted a healthy meal. I had bought some short grain organic brown rice awhile back and although we like to eat heathy, the rice we really don’t care for. However, it was awesome in this dish! I didn’t have any bacon but I had some bacon fat in the fridge and only used that with no olive oil to cook up the onions and garlic. Thank you so much! It is really good!

  10. Marlene Stabin :

    Funny to read your menu. I use to similar things for Christmas. My side is Italian and the husband’s side had Polish/Russian and English/Scottish. I would make something Italian, like our Family Antipasta my grandmother’s way. Then make Stuffed Cabbage using his grandmother’s recipe and then Prime Rib with Yorkshire Pudding. Covered them all.
    I found my boys were not thrilled with the cabbage rolls so I started making it simpler like you decided. I still make the meat and rice balls, though. His grandmother used Honey insteady of sugar. Thanks for sharing.

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