Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Gowumpki/Cabbage Roll Casserole

I've been craving Polish gowumpki/cabbage rolls, and I happened to have cabbage leftover from making cole slaw earlier in the week. I didn't think I'd have the energy on a weeknight to actually make cabbage rolls, so I was excited to find a recipe for gowumpki casserole here. The recipe I actually followed, including my modifications in italics, is below:

  • 1 head cabbage, chopped or shredded
  • 1 onion, chopped (I changed this to two onions)
  • (I added 3 cloves garlic)
  • 1 pound ground beef, browned (I subbed 4 vegetarian beer brats, crumbled, for the beef)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • grated cheese

Layer bottom of pan with 1/2 of the cabbage. (I sauteed the onion, garlic, and veggie sausage before constructing the casserole). Add filling of onion, ground beef (veggie sausage), salt, pepper, rice mixed together. Pour 1 c tomato sauce over all. Add another layer of cabbage. Pour remaining tomato sauce over top, and grated cheese, if desired. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees F. Serves 4 - 6.

I thought it could have used maybe 1/2 cup more rice. When I put it together I worried that there wasn't enough tomato sauce to keep it moist, so I covered the glass baking pan with some aluminum foil to keep the steam in, and it worked beautifully.

For the tomato sauce, I used up the tomatoes we had on the counter. I chopped them up and then blended with a stick blender until liquified. Then I simmered for about 10 minutes with some green peppers that had been chopped and stuck in the freezer for something like this, and added a bit of crushed red pepper, basil and oregano. Worked like a charm.

Overall, this was a fairly easy dish, and it was delicious and hearty. I was pleased to be able to use up some produce that might otherwise have gone to waste. Definitely would make this again!

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