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Cabbage roll casserole

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Chef Peter Webster – Bouquet Garni

 

The autumn produce is upon us.  One of the cheapest vegetables at present is the cabbage.  I love making coleslaw with a little onion, carrot, red pepper and mayonnaise, salt and pepper and celery seed.  It is simple, delicious and improves flavour-wise over the next couple of days.

One of my favourite cabbage dishes is cabbage rolls.  They are great in flavour but they are very labourous to prepare.  Instead take all the ingredients, add a little zip to the taste, mix it all up and bake it in the oven.  The same great taste but with a quarter of the effort.

• 2 lbs lean ground beef

• 1 cup chopped onion

• 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

• 1 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)

• 1 cup uncooked rice

• 4 cups tomato sauce

• 1 cup salsa

• 2 tsp oregano

• 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil

• salt and pepper to taste

• 2 lbs chopped cabbage

• sour cream

Brown the beef in a frying pan and drain.  In 2 tbsp of the beef drippings, sauté the onion and garlic with the red pepper flakes.

In a large bowl, mix the onion mixture, beef, tomato sauce, rice oregano, basil, salt and pepper.

Layer the bottom of a casserole with half the chopped cabbage.  Top the cabbage with half the beef mixture, then add the rest of the cabbage and finish off with the rest of the meat mixture.

Cover the casserole and bake in 325º oven for 90 minutes.  Check the casserole after one hour and add more liquid (tomato juice, V8 juice etc) if necessary.  Serve with sour cream.

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