Cabbage rolls fall apart anyways, so just forget the boiling and stuffing and rolling and make this One Pot Unstuffed Stuffed Cabbage instead. It tastes exactly like your Nonna’s but in less than half the time. Babushka optional. This recipes calls for ground sirloin, but you could substitute ground pork or veal. Round it out with a simple salad or steamed green beans.
- 2 lb ground sirloin
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 1 T minced garlic
- 1-2 tsp Kosher salt, to taste
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes
- 1 14.5-oz can tomato sauce
- 2 T red wine vinegar
- 1 quart beef stock
- 1 cup uncooked white basmati rice
- 1 small head cabbage (2-2.5 lb), cored and coarsely chopped
- Sugar, optional (see note)
In a large dutch oven, brown ground sirloin until halfway cooked, crumbling with a wooden spoon. Add onion and garlic and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add salt, pepper and thyme, followed by tomatoes, tomato sauce, vinegar, stock, and rice.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and stir in cabbage. Cover and continue cooking until rice is cooked and cabbage is tender, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally as rice may stick to the bottom. Season to taste with additional salt and black pepper.
Note: Sometimes I’ll add a little sugar in at the end, a teaspoon at a time, to balance out the acidity. Add more to taste if you prefer “sweet and sour” style cabbage rolls.