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!
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!Print
- 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
- 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.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch cabbage chunks for five minutes. Drain, cool and set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add tomato juice, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, thyme, paprika, salt and pepper. Reduce to medium and simmer for five minutes.
- Add in sauerkraut, cooked rice and cooked cabbage. Bring back up to heat and simmer for five more minutes.
- Adjust seasoning and serve.
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