Unstuffed Stuffed Cabbage.

by cindy winetroub rogers

unstuffedstuffedcabbageI was at Wegmans earlier. You know, the store I have a love/hate relationship with. I won’t go into that now, that’s a post for another day. So back to Wegmans — and the aisles and aisles of Passover goods. Is it really that time of year already?

Apparently it is.

Now, as those who know me may know, I’m Jewish, but not exactly observant. So I walked past the matzos, the gefilte fish and the macaroons, and went about my business of buying dog and cat vittles. But, as I was checking out, and wondering how I had come in for pet food and pet food only yet had somehow amassed a $94 register ring, I thought of the family Seders and other holiday dinners of my childhood, and my Aunt Frances’ stuffed cabbage.

Maybe it wasn’t Passover that she made it. Maybe it was Rosh Hashanah. Does it matter? It was rich and tangy and soul sating. Ground beef and rice wrapped in green cabbage leaves and swimming in tart and sweet tomato-y goodness. I could eat her entire Pyrex dish. And I wanted them now. Today. This minute.

Lucky for me, I had half of a giant farmers market cabbage in my fridge, as well as homemade beef bone broth and marinara sauce, and ground bison.

Unluckily for me, I had a lot of shoveling to do so steaming cabbage leaves then painstakingly wrapping a dozen or so cabbage rolls was out of the question.

Ergo, the lazy version. It tastes like my mom and dad and Aunt Frances and Uncle Sam are at the table with me. But requires half the work.

Unstuffed stuffed cabbage.

1. Cut up an onion, a couple clove garlics, a couple carrots, and a bunch of green cabbage.

2. Sauté the onion until translucent then add the garlic and ground bison or beef, and a bay leaf or two. Add salt and pepper as you see fit.

3. Once beef is nice and brown, add about 1/3 cup brown sugar, give it a stir, then add the cabbage and a cup or two of canned tomatoes or marinara sauce, and two or three cups of beef broth. Then add the juice of half a lemon.

4. Bring to a boil then let it simmer, bubble, do it’s thing, covered, for an hour or an hour and a half, till the cabbage is soft. Throw in a couple handfuls of golden raisins at the end.

5. Serve over basmati rice, or just slurp up with a spoon, and perhaps a crusty loaf or French bread on the side, or a nice dark pumpernickel.