|Maybe it's because I was starrrffffink last night.. maybe it's because I see potential in this recipe.. I dunno. But I'm going to post about it instead of tossing the recipe in the garbage like I did with the actual dish. Ugh.|
At our clam bake last year, a nice gal brought something she called "Cabbage Roll Casserole", basically it was all the components of a cabbage roll, layered into a baking dish. It was fabulous. I make a mean cabbage roll, if I do say so myself - thanks to my mommie =) But, cabbage rolls are a pain in the arse to make and if I can get outta boiling that head and burning my so-not-asbestos-fingers while peeling off each leaf in exchange for the same taste minus the fuss, well I'm all over it. Unfortunately, I never did get her recipe.. it was promised.. but, well, yanno how that goes sometimes.
So I had this head of cabbage in my fridge with the intentions of frying it one night, but I got one of my hankerin's.. so I went in search of the casserole recipe on our vast internet. I got lucky right off the bat and found it on a site I've never seen before.. the ingredients and the gal's instructions sounded right on to what I enjoyed back in October, so I didn't even bother looking further. Silly me. My finished casserole was something that was less than desireable. And I had a hunch that would be the case when I was putting it together. If you love.. no, wait.. if you LOVELOVELOVECAN'TLIVEWITHOUT cabbage, then this might be the recipe for you - because it was ALL CABBAGE with a lil of the filling type stuff. It was bland because it was so much cabbage to so little of the tasty tomatoey/beefy/ricey goodness. So I'm thinking if I ever do try this again, without searching for a new recipe, it could be fabulous with a few changes.. I'll post recipe as I found it and then note the changes below. May the force be with you, whoever it is that might want to try this recipe one day :D
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
2 medium onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 (14 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 can water
1/2 c. uncooked, long-grain rice
4 c. shredded or coarsely chopped cabbage
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Brown beef, onions, garlic, salt, pepper, tomato sauce and water. Bring to a boil and stir in rice. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Place 1/2 of the cabbage in a greased baking dish (I used a 9x13 glass dish), cover with 1/2 the rice mixture. Repeat layers. Cover and bake for 60 minutes. Serve with sour cream. May be refigerated before serving.
Okay right off the bat.. 4 c. of shredded cabbage is way, way too much.. either cut that down to 2-2 1/2 c. or double your beef/rice mixture. With that said.. following the recipe exactly, the liquids in the beef/rice mixture are way, way too little. I used a 15 oz. can of Contadina tomato sauce + a full can of water and it looked as if it wouldn't be nearly enough for the rice to cook in, so I added about 1 1/2 c. of my marinara (which is what I use in my cabbage rolls, anyway).. and even that addition was just enough to cook the rice in, but the rice soaked most of it up so it was still on the dry side when layering it with the cabbage, so I'd say double your liquids even if you cut the cabbage down. Also, the simmering of the rice for 20 minutes BEFORE you bake this thing for AN HOUR led to the dryness as well, I think. When I make my cabbage rolls, I do no pre-cook my rice.. I just put in it with the beef and after the 1.5 hours of the rolls baking, the rice comes out perfect. So, I suggest doing just that.. add your rice to the mixture and then start your layering.. after 60 minutes of baking, that rice will be perfectly done.
So here it is in a nutshell:
Cut down the cabbage.
Double your liquids (if not the whole beef/rice mixture).
Don't "double" cook your rice.
Good luck :D