Saturday, September 24, 2011

Frugal Food: Stuffed Cabbag

This time of year is very costly for many families. The Jewish High Holidays necessitate the cooking of lots of meals, usually involving meat, fish and other delicacies. Plus time off from work! One of my favorite foods to make around this time is stuffed cabbage. Stuffed cabbage is a perfect fit for this holiday because it is warm enough to take the chill out of the late autumn/early winter, smells hearty and is very filling. It is also a great frugal option because it is combines the meat with cabbage and rice and generally goes a lot further than a piece of roast plunked down on a platter. Plus it uses ground beef which is a cheaper cut of meat than your average top of the rib or flanken - and those shrink incredibly in the oven!

Here's my cabbage recipe and photos of the batch I recently whipped up. They were devoured with compliments all around.

1 medium head of cabbage
1 lb ground chuck
1 cup raw white rice
1/4 cup raisins
1 egg, beaten
1/4 tsp pepper
1 large onion, diced

8 oz tomato juice
4 Tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup prune butter or ouc (tamarind paste)

The key to the cabbage is this: Place the entire head of cabbage in the freezer the night before you will make the stufffed cabbage. Then right before starting the recipe, pull out the cabbage and defrost it in the microwave for a minute. This will allow you to peel off the leaves easily and cut of the hard inner rib without breaking the leaf!

Preheat your oven to 375 Farenheit. Sautee the onion in olive oil until translucent. Combine the chuck, rice, onion, egg, salt, pepper and rasins. Place a heaping spoon of meat at the thick base of each cabbage leaf. Roll the leaves up, tucking in the sides, and place them in a baking dish seam side down.

Combine sauce ingredients into a saucepan and place over low heat until it boils. Pour sauce over the rolls in the baking dish. Cover and bake for 1 hour. Uncover and bake for an additional hour.


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