Sunday, January 18, 2015

Crock-Pot Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Dish

I am not a big fan of cooking. It's not that I don't like cooking, it's just that cooking is not my thing. I do have a few dishes that I make over and over again, until my family gets sick of them LOL Thanks to Pinterest I am little by little adding on to my daily menu. 

As a child I grew up eating cabbage rolls. My mom is an excellent cook and her cabbage rolls are amazing. BUT - they are so much work - ....... and I just don't like to spend that much time in the kitchen. When I came across some 'unstuffed cabbage roll dishes' I finally got my nerve up to give this kind of dish a try. I just love dishes that I can prepare in one pot and this one became soon one of my families all time favorites.


Ingredients:

1  large head of cabbage
2 onions
potatoes
bacon
1 Pound Ground Beef (you may use any kind of ground meat - we just prefer beef)
4 spiced sausages - any kind you prefer
1 can of broth - any kind will work
spices such as salt, pepper, ginger 


Yes, I forgot to show the broth in this picture, but you get the idea.

* Prep time is approx. 1 hour *


Start of with preparing the bacon. I like the bacon to be almost frozen so it cuts better. Cut the bacon in half and than in cubes. We are bacon fans so half the bacon will end up in the dish and the other half for toppings.


Add the cubed bacon into a pan and brown the bacon until it is crunchy. You don't need to add butter or oil, because the bacon is greasy enough to brown in it's own fat.

Divide the browned bacon to use half  in the dish and half for toppings.




Once the bacon is browned divide the bacon from the grease.




I like to save the grease to use later on to use instead of butter or oil. My favorite is to use the bacon grease when I make omelets or just breakfast eggs. It adds a bit of bacon taste without actually using bacon.


Bacon grease becomes opaque when it cooled down. In Germany we like to eat bacon grease sandwiches. Just spread the bacon grease on your favorite bread or roll, ad a bit of salt - that's it - yummy ;)


While the bacon is browning, remove the skins from the sausages and add the sausages with the ground meat, half an onion cut in cubes and salt and pepper. This is the perfect time to add a little bit of the bacon grease, so the ground meat wan't stick to the bottom of them pot.

Brown the meat and than drain the grease.


Add one half of the browned bacon to the browned ground meat.

Cut the remaining 1 1/2 onions in cubes and add to a large bowl (you need a really large bowl!). Cut the cabbage in shreds. I usually cut the cabbage in strips and than in squares. Add to the large bowl. Sorry I didn't take a picture of this part, but you get the idea. You may not need all of the cabbage. Depending on the size, I usually end up with a quarter of the cabbage left over.

Mix the onions and the cabbage.

Cut the potatoes in cubes and cover the crock-pot with them.
The reason I didn't say how many potatoes to use, is because it depends on the size of the potatoes. I ended up using 4 potatoes.


Add a layer of onion.cabbage mix on top of the potatoes.



Than add a layer of the ground meat with the bacon.



Repeat until the crock-pot is full enough for the mixture to hit the lid.

Don't worry, even so you have been told not to fill your crock-pot more than 3/4. Using cabbage is an exception, because the cabbage will collapse as it gets cooked.



Add your spices. I like to keep it simple by just adding salt pepper and ginger. If you have trouble digesting cabbage, you may like to add caraway seeds or powder.


At last add the can of broth over your cabbage. By adding the broth last, your spices are going to be washed down, which adds flavor throughout the dish.



I usually cook this dish on high for about 4.5 hours.




You can see how the cabbage already collapsed 2 hours into the cooking time.





 The finished dish


Once the cabbage dish is done, mix it well to distribute the potatoes throughout.



Sprinkle some bacon on top and 'Guten Appetit'.

In case you are wondering, I use a 7 quart crock-pot.

Left overs can easily be frozen.