I have lived in the South for most of my adult life (GA for 5 yrs and here for 13) and I have adopted many Southern customs but for New Years my Yankee roots are showing.
I know that here in the South most people eat Collard greens or Black eyed peas for luck on New Years. But in Indiana cabbage is the traditional "lucky" food for the New Year. My family usually makes a Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup to get our dose of luck. But this year I thought I would try something a little different.
I started perusing my usual recipe sites looking for a recipe containing cabbage and the very first thing I came across was Stuffed Cabbage. Mmm, simple flavors. Tomatoes, ground beef, rice and of course Cabbage. Perfect!
The most difficult part of this dish is separating the cabbage leaves. But this task is simple with just a pot of boiling water. Bring large pot of water to a boil. With a sharp knife remove the core of the cabbage leaving the rest of the cabbage intact. Once water is at a full boil drop in head of cabbage. With a pair of tongs begin carefully coaxing off leaves one a time and remove from water. At this point leaves should be just flexible enough for rolling. You do not want to actually cook the cabbage otherwise it will be be flimsy and tear when you are rolling. I promise, it sounds way more complicated than it is.
Simple Stuffed Cabbage
8 whole cabbage leaves
1lb ground beef
1cup cooked rice
1-8oz can tomato sauce
1-15oz can tomato sauce
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped green peppers
2 tsp minced garlic
2 TBS Brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet brown ground beef along with onions, peppers and garlic. Drain well. Combine ground beef and 8 oz can of tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place approx 1/2 cup of ground beef mixture into the center of each cabbage leaf. Fold 1/2 of leaf over meat and tuck in ends. Roll the rest of the way up and place each one seam side down in 8x8 baking pan. (spray pan with cooking spray first) Mix together remaining tomato sauce, brown sugar and allspice. Pour sauce over cabbage rolls. Cover tightly with foil. Place in the oven for 45-55 mins. (45mins for cabbage that is al dente longer for softer cabbage) Uncover and spoon sauce over rolls once or twice during baking.