This is my hassle-free take on the traditional Russian dish, stuffed cabbage.
Immigrating to a new country starts out as a grand adventure, but at some point along the way it becomes a string of awkward interactions–from people struggling to pronounce your name and never getting it quite right, to others asking questions about national stereotypes (What do you think about vodka, Putin, bears, etc.?), to others just listing dishes they’re pretty sure are from your homeland and then waiting in awkward silence for you to confirm that you have in fact eaten that dish before. When I first came to America, the one dish that was always brought up to me was stuffed cabbage, which, in this case, actually is a Russian dish. I have a confession to make though: I don’t like stuffed cabbage, or at least not the traditional way of making it. It’s just too much work for a dish I never really enjoyed. So at some point I came up with my own version of it that is much quicker to cook and which I think tastes better. If you want to try stuffed cabbage but don’t have all day to spend cooking, this is a great alternative, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup of cooked rice
- 1 cup cabbage, minced
- 3/4 cup onion, minced
- 1/2 cup carrot, shredded
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1 1/2 tbsp dill, minced
- 1 1/2 tbsp parsley, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- Black pepper to taste
- Olive oil (approximately 1 tbsp for frying)
- 24 oz. marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Mix all of the ingredients except for the olive oil, marinara sauce, and heavy cream in a big bowl.
Preheat a non-stick skillet over low-to-medium flame and add approximately 1 tbsp olive oil (enough that you can spread it evenly over the skillet). Shape the meat mixture into patties (about 2-inches in diameter will yield 12 patties) and fry on both sides for about 7-10 minutes per side (the larger the patty, the longer it will need to fry) until they are almost cooked through.
Remove from skillet, cover with foil, and repeat for remaining patties. Place all the patties back in the skillet. Mix marinara sauce and heavy cream and pour mixture over the patties in the skillet so that all the patties are covered with sauce.
Lower the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Serve with your favorite side(s). I served it with green beans when we took these pictures. A friend who taste-tested the recipe for me served it with mac & cheese.
Приятного аппетита! (Priyatnova appetita! Russian for ‘Bon Appetit!’)