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Stuffed Cabbage

It's incredibly hot in DC area, which makes me very reluctant to cook. Alas, unlike some of my friends who are satisfied with skipping dinner or having a bowl of cereal, I like real food. But in the summer it's not as enticing to make a big pot of soup or chili or bake a batch of lasagna that will last for days. And so, I'm usually left with making omelets, cold pasta salads or sandwiches.

Last weekend, however, I had craving for some comfort food, and an omelet would not cut it. For some reason, I decided to make stuffed cabbage. I have never made stuffed cabbage in my entire life! Instead, I make a lazy version of it: saute carrots, onions and garlic. Add ground beef. Add spices and cooked rice. Add shredded cabbage and cook till it's tender. Serve with sour cream.

Here's my version of Stuffed Cabbage: because I only had brown rice and did not want to use it, I decided to add Israeli cous cous. This recipe is made with ground beef, but  you can use ground chicken, turkey, pork, etc.

1 head of cabbage, core removed
2 teaspoons oil
4 carrots, peeled, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground beef
2/3 cups Israeli cous cous
14.5 ounce fire roasted tomatoes with juices + same amount of liquid retained from cooking cabbage
1 bay leaf

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Carefully put the head of cabbage into the pot and make sure the water completely covers it. Cook the cabbage for about 5 minutes. Carefully remove the cabbage and let it cool. Once it's cooled, separate the leaves. Don't throw away the water! You'll need about 2 cups of it for this recipe and can use the rest to make soup.

2. Add oil to a heated pan, add carrots, onions, garlic and spices and saute till softened.

2. Once the carrot/onion/garlic/spices mixture is cooled, add it to a bowl with ground beef and cous cous. Mix.

3. Top each cabbage leaf with a few tablespoons of the mixture and roll the leaf like a burrito.

4. In a large pot bring to a simmer fire roasted tomatoes, 1 can of retained cabbage water and a bay leaf. Carefully add your stuffed cabbage, bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and cook for 40 minutes.

5. Serve stuffed cabbage with yogurt or sour cream. You can also add cheese, salsa, or even cubed avocados.

This dish is great as leftovers, but I'm not sure if you could freeze it.

Please don't forget that you have 2 more weeks to enter my recipe contest for a chance to win $50 in gift cards. Get cooking!


Yuki said...

we have this recipe in Romania. We call them ' sarmalutze' and they are made with pickled cabbage and usually with pork, not beef. Very tasty :)

Yuki said...

oh, and we use rice instead of cous cous

Lo said...

Yum - I'm drooling over the look of that braising liquid. I never thought to use couscous instead of rice for a dish like this... but why not? Would be great as a stuffing for peppers too!

Juliana said...

Great idea using Israeli Couscous...your stuffed cabbage look so yummie...what a great meal :-)

Sasha said...

This looks so good. I like to eat this dish with sour cream and hot sauce when my mom makes it.

Anonymous said...

Love the stuffing with Israeli couscous!

pigpigscorner said...

I made this once with rice instead of couscous, so good!

dining room tables said...

The stuffed cabbage looks like dumplings! I like this one more because of the cabbage.

Kate said...

I absolutely loved this recipe!! I attempted to make it when you first posted it however due to my own inability to successfully core a cabbage ended up having pizza that night after an ER visit to get stitches in my hand :) However, I made it the next night and it was fantastic!! Came back today cause I want to make it again tomorrow. Love everything you make! Just wonderful :)

Anonymous said...

looks good, like the idea of the couscous. its not israeli by the way, its a special north african variation of normal couscous called mogarabiah (by one of its many names).

Camy said...

Do you have to cook the ground beef and couscous before you put in the cabbage?

Olga @ MangoTomato said...

Hi! No, there is no need to cook either the ground beef or couscous. Both will cook while they are simmered in the cabbage leaves. Hope you make this dish and will let me know how it turns out.

Camy said...

Hey I just got a chance to make it and I really enjoyed it. I used ground chicken so, it created an interesting texture, one I did not expect but, all in all this is a good base recipe, and I would love to experiment more with what I could stuff cabbage with. I think next time I will use more spice because, I love spices.

Olga @ MangoTomato said...

Thanks for coming back and sharing your results! Glad you made this recipe your own.