NB: sharp-eyed readers will notice that I don’t usually post recipes on Thursdays. However, since Tuesday featured a recipe round-up, I had a recipe to bump to this slot. Normal service will be resumed next week!
Sometimes I just make it up as I go along.
This recipe was one of those times. Of course, stuffing cabbages is nothing new, there are many fine examples of the kind around the web, but I wanted to strike new ground, uncharted territory.
To adventure into the unknown and come back with a full belly.
So I combined beef with bacon, stuffed them into green cabbage leaves (rolled into pleasingly fat little parcels), slathered a rich tomato and herb sauce over the top.
And then, the crowning glory, added a thick layer of mozzarella cheese over that.
The result was a meal that takes a bit of work (probably best to leave to weekends), but is well worth it.
Beef & Bacon Stuffed Cabbage (makes 6 cabbage-and-meat parcels so serves 3-6)
- 1 head savoy cabbage
- 16 oz ground beef
- 6 rashers (slices) smokey bacon, chopped
- 2 small shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- 28 oz tin of diced tomatoes, drained
- 6 oz tomato puree
- 1 1/2 tbsps fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp basil leaves
- 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- Place the whole cabbage in a large saucepan, add enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Let boil for 6 minutes then drain and let cool before handling.
- While the cabbage is cooling, pour the tinned tomatoes into another saucepan along with the tomato puree. Add the garlic, thyme and basil. Season well with salt and pepper then bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and let it bubble gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the bacon to a frying pan and heat over a high heat until it starts to brown. Add the shallots and cook for a few minutes more until they get some colour. Add the ground beef, breaking it up with a spoon, season and cook until the beef is browned. Remove from heat.
- Separate the cabbage by gently removing the tough stalk at the bottom. Carefully peel away the outer layers and separate the large leaves.
- Take a leaf, spoon around 3 tbsps of the meat onto the bottom, where the stalk is then fold in the edges and roll it up into a sausage shape.
- Place in a casserole dish, seam side down and repeat until you run out of meat. My casserole dish (and meat supplies) ran to 6 cabbage parcels.
- Spoon over the tomato sauce then generously sprinkle the cheese over the top. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.
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