When my husband's home from the freezing cold Arctic Slope, I tend to pamper him with hot, hearty meals like beef and rice stuffed cabbage rolls. He loves ground beef, and the tender cabbage makes a great parcel with the addition of fluffy rice and rich tomato sauce.
I don't recall ever having had this dish in a restaurant. It just seems like one day many years ago, I just started making these, and my husband requested it often. Seventeen years ago, when he left White Sands Missile Range to join me in Little Rock, I had a big cookbook where I looked for things to cook him. There were no pictures, and I'm not sure if this recipe came from there, but it's possible. The book was called Joy of Cooking. I grew up cooking Vietnamese meals at home with my mom, so the book was my attempt to cook American meals for my American boyfriend.
Back then, I was less food obsessed. I had no Food Network or Cooking Channel. I may not have even had cable. I only used my computer for college essays, and the Internet was something my roommate Ginger showed me from her office at the medical center so we could check our horoscopes. Oh AOL....
Beef and Rice Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
- 1 head of cabbage, cored
- 1 pound of ground beef
- 1/2 cup of cooked rice
- 1 jar of tomato sauce, we prefer organic, no sugar added
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add the cabbage. As the leaves get soft, pull them apart with tongs and place on a plate.
- Mix the ground beef with rice, 1 cup of tomato sauce, egg, and garlic. Salt and pepper are optional as well.
- Prepare the rolls: place about 1/3 cup of mixture on a cabbage leaf. Tuck the sides in, then roll.
- Place rolls seam side down in a 13x9 pan. Pour the remaining sauce on top, cover with foil, and cook for one hour in the oven at 350 degrees.