How good are the traditional stuffed cabbage rolls? Exceptionally good, I know but the reality is that we don’t always have that time in our hands to roll those beauties and for that reason, only, I make this beef and cabbage casserole dish.
I could easily say that this dish is a D-constructed version of the cabbage rolls or in other words (perhaps not so brutal) never rolled cabbage rolls. Haha. Oh yeaasss!! Bring this cabbage casserole on!
Big time-saving but still soo yummy. I was tempted to call this a lazy version but I will not do this because it’s not lazy at all. I did get into the kitchen, I did get all the veggies chopped so I am not lazy at all. Ahaha
It is just a time-saver and a life saviour which we really need from time to time when we fancy eating something but don’t quite have all that time in our hands.
Stuffed cabbage rolls are one of those dishes that has grown hugely over the years in my family, starting with my children and my husband not being such fans of it initially to nowadays asking for it if I don’t make it in a while.
Lucky for them, I do make them almost, almost whenever we fancy them. Cabbage is not always everybody’s cup of tea but
Convinced’ ish’? Want to give give it a try? Come on, go for it!
Flavour in this cabbage casserole is key
Oh, that added bacon, the smokiness, the fresh herbs added makes this dish such a desirable one. Try and find some bacon or chorizo that are totally nasties-free.
what type of cabbage should I use?
Well, in terms of cabbage type or you can go for a fresh or sour/pickled one like sauerkraut, depending on what you like. Use the one you know best, not to say that you should try it both ways. It’s equally delicious and worth a try to see which one you may like best.
- I only use oil if the meat is really lean, but if the beef has a fat content of anything more than 5% then I don’t use any oil at all. Lamb, turkey or pork mince are also a great meat option or mushrooms for a vegan version.
- I have mentioned a decent amount of cayenne pepper which is half a teaspoon but you can go for more or a lot less depending on your palette, spiciness tolerance or threshold.
- If you’re using fresh cabbage, squeeze half a lemon or even one lemon over it towards the end, but if you use soured cabbage there is no need for lemon juice.
- Same with the salt- if you are using fresh cabbage you will need to season and add enough salt when cooking the dish and a good amount when blanching the cabbage. If you are using sour cabbage you will probably need to add no salt at all. I generally use a whole soured cabbage that I buy in the shop and most times it’s quite salty so I chop the half or however much I am using and put it into cold water for a good 1or 2 h prior to cooking to de-salt it.
- Feel absolutely free to add more vegetables to this dish if you like, anything seasonal, you like or fancy, or have in hand. I sometimes add parsnip, sometimes courgettes/zucchinis or even aubergines that have been shallow fried or grilled priorly. These add a really nice and lovely flavour to the dish, especially if using lamb mince.
I am a big fan of this cabbage casserole and I particularly like it a little on the spicy side. In
Just make it your way, use whatever spices or herbs you have in hand or like. It will be beautiful any way you choose to season it.
I love this cabbage casserole dish any time in the year but on colder season or days is a real warming and comforting meal. We like it served with polenta on the side and a dollop of creme fraiche. Oh, soo good!
Other recipes you may like
Cabbage casserole with beef mince and fresh herbs
- ovenproof dish
- chopping board
- 1 medium cabbage fresh or sour -roughly chopped
- 400 g minced beef * (14.2oz)
- 200 g lardons or smoked bacon (7oz) optional
- 2 onions
- 1 carrot
- 1 celery stick
- 2 tbsp olive oil * optional
- 2-3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato paste dissolved into 150ml lukewarm water
- 120 g rice (4.23oz) well rinsed/washed
- 1 tin chopped tomato
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 tsp salt *
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 lemon squeezed * optional
- 3-4 tbsp creme fraîche optional
- 10 sprigs fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper *
- Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350F. Prepare a 28x28cm ovenproof ceramic dish.
- If using fresh cabbage start by chopping the cabbage roughly and blanch it in boiling water for about 5 to 10 minutes with 1 tbsp of salt for extra taste. (please see recipe tips for more tips) * I like it crunchier so I only blanch it for 5 min.
- In a deep pan placed over medium heat add the bacon or lardons (if using), chopped onions, diced carrot, chopped celery, chopped or sliced pepper and the bay leaves. Cook for about 2-3 min.
- And the ground/mince beef and cook for a further 2 minutes stirring occasionally until the beef is no longer pink. Add the rice and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add some water or stock as needed, approximately 250ml/1 cup).
- Add the garlic tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, 1/2 of the fresh or dry thyme, season well and cook covered for a further 4-5 minutes.
- Mix in the blanched cabbage, cayenne pepper, parsley and remaining thyme, mix well and transfer it into the oven dish. Try and fish out the bay leaves now. They would have given their bit of flavour by now. Of course, you can leave them in too if you wish.
- Bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes at 180°C /350F. When you’re ready take out and enjoy with a drizzle of lemon juice over or some crème fraîche/yoghurt. Enjoy!