Winter means comfort food. To me… soups and stews and all manner of one-dish-wonders piled high in a favourite bowl, while sitting firmly established in a very comfy chair. Cold temperatures and short days are enough to make the most hearty of us want to hibernate. We crave comfort. We need comfort. We all want comfort.
This shortcut recipe to that wondrous peasant food that is cabbage rolls, is a satisfying culinary trick to have up your sleeve. Admittedly there was a time when my Eastern European heritage would’ve had me pooh-poohing such a thought. Now, I find myself wondering… just what was I thinking??
There is, many times, more than one way to produce an end result. Cooking is no different. Instead of shrugging off things or ideas that are not familiar, they should be considered. Tested. And embraced when they turn out to be something good.
This recipe adapted from Foodland Ontario is just that. I even took the shortcut a step further. Rather than forming and cooking meatballs, I opted for browning the meat as is, just like when making a ragù Bolognese. I don’t know what my mom would’ve thought of the idea…
… but if I had the chance, I’d simply put a big steaming bowl of it in front of her. She wouldn’t have even minded that I forgot to add some green!
- 1 TBSP vegetable oil (use olive oil if you prefer)
- 8 oz lean ground beef (or use all beef)
- 8 oz ground pork
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 medium Ontario onion, minced
- 4 cups finely shredded Ontario cabbage
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
- 3/4 cup uncooked rice (if using brown rice, adjust the cooking time)
- garnish: chopped fresh arugula or spinach, or, toss in a handful of frozen peas at the end of cooking
- In Dutch oven or soup pot, heat oil over medium heat, then add the ground meat and a sprinkle of salt & pepper. Stir occasionally, cooking about 10 - 15 minutes to really brown the meat.
- Add the onion and cook for another few minutes.
- Add the shredded cabbage in a layer on top, another sprinkle of salt & pepper and cover with the lid, cooking about 10 minutes.
- Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes (including juice) and rice.
- Bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat and cook for 20 - 25 minutes, until cabbage is soft.
- Stir in frozen peas just at the end, if using.
- And/or serve with a garnish of chopped fresh arugula or spinach.
- *Just like cabbage rolls, this tastes even better the next day!