two three recipes for beef and cabbage: Beef Cabbage Crown and Old-Fashioned Cabbage Rolls. Reader Anne wrote,
I had the collection that started in the mid-80’s and one was in the section on “great ways with ground meat” and was basically the ingredients for cabbage rolls – beef, rice, cabbage, sauce, but in the form of a casserole. Do you have that recipe you could share with me? I kept some of the cards of the things I made often but sold the rest of the set when we moved/downsized. Sorry now that I did, but just had no place to store it.
Anne’s story is so familiar; it seems My Great Recipes was a beloved collection of recipes for many people. But then life gets going, and -for one reason or another- the collection is lost. Some people say cards stuck to a kitchen counter and vital pieces of the recipe disappeared. Others had family or friends borrow or take cards, and some lost cards in tragedies like hurricane Katrina. Mostly though, it’s the passage of time that takes the collection away.
Beef Cabbage Crown
I looked through “Great Ways With Ground Meat” (Section 14) and found two recipes that just might be what Anne remembers. The first of those is card 68 – Beef Cabbage Crown.
Beef Cabbage Crown
A crown of cabbage encases a ground beef, bacon, and bulgur wheat mixture. It is delicious served at room temperature with an assortment of mustards, crusty bread, and a bottle of wine, if you like.
- 1 2 lb cabbage
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 1/2 cups bulgur wheat cooked
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- French mustard
Trim core from cabbage. Carefully remove 6 to 7 outer leaves. Cut remaining cabbage into wedges. In large kettle of boiling water, cook leaves for about 4 minutes. Remove, drain. Cook wedges for 10 minutes or until tender, drain.
Finely chop wedges (reserve leaves.) Combine with ground beef, bacon, bulgur, egg, and black pepper.
Arrange cabbage leaves in an overlapping fashion in the center of a large piece of cheesecloth or a metal steamer. Enclose with the leaves. With string, tie cheesecloth or steamer around the middle to hold cabbage together.
Steam for 40 to 50 minutes, adding more boiling water if necessary. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Unwrap. Carefully place on a serving platter. Cut into wedges. Serve with French mustard, a green salad, and a hearty wine, if you like.
A meatless stuffed cabbage can be made. Cook bulgur in canned mushroom broth. Saute 1 pound mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter or margarine. Then saute 2 chopped onions in 2 tablespoons butter or margarine. Combine with the cabbage, black pepper, and salt. Serve with a cheese tray and crusty bread.
Old-Fashioned Cabbage Rolls
Card 22 is for old-fashioned cabbage rolls, and is the other beef and cabbage recipe I found in section 14 – Great Ways With Ground Meat.
Old-Fashioned Cabbage Rolls
A mixture of ground beef, pork, and veal, gently spiced, provides the filling for these cabbage rolls. To make them extra attractive, use curly savoy cabbage when in season. A creamy sauce is spooned over the rolls while baking. Nice additions for a special company meal are freshly made noodles, dilled cucumber salad, and dark rye bread.
- 1/2 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground veal
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon molasses
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1 large head green or savoy cabbage
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine
- 1/2 cup milk approximately
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
In a mixing bowl, blend meats with egg, milk and bread crumbs. Stir in salt, molasses, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and onion. Mix well.
Cut out core of cabbage. Carefully separate outer 12 leaves (reserve remainder for other use.) Remove center thick vein of each leaf. Drop leaves into boiling water. Cover. Steam 3 minutes or until soft and bright green. Remove with slotted spoon. Reserve liquid.
Evenly divide meat among cabbage leaves. Fold sides in and roll up. Fasten with wooden toothpick.
Heat butter in frying pan. Brown rolls on all sides. Transfer them to a 3-quart casserole as they brown.
Mix reserved water from boiling leaves with butter and drippings. Pour over filled rolls. Cover. Bake at 375 for 1 hour. Remove from oven.
Drain off juices into measuring cup. Add milk to equal 1 cup liquid. Stir in cornstarch. Bring to boiling. Cook until thickened. Pour over cabbage rolls. Bake at 375, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until browned and heated through.
Update: Beef-Cabbage Bake Is Anne’s Card!
Whenever someone requests a card, I email when the card is live on the blog. Anne read through this post, and let me know neither was the right recipe. She further described the recipe card she remembered:
I don’t remember what it was called, but it was in a casserole dish and used brown rice, ground beef, chopped cabbage, and was topped with spaghetti sauce from a jar.
I went back to the spreadsheet of recipes, and found Beef-Cabbage Bake. It fit the criteria, so I snapped a couple late night photos of the card and emailed Anne. Sure enough, this was the card she remembered.
If you like stuffed cabbage rolls, you will enjoy this dish which has much the same delicious flavors but is easier and less time-consuming to prepare.
- 1/2 cup brown rice uncooked
- 1 1/3 cups boiling water salted
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
- 3/4 pound ground beef
- 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups cabbage finely shredded
- 1 16-ounce jar Italian cooking sauce or spaghetti sauce
Cook rice in boiling, water seasoned with salt for 25 minute or until rice is tender. Drain if necessary.
In medium skillet, saute onion in the butter until tender. Add beef and cook, breaking it up with a fork, until meat loses its red color. Stir in worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt and black pepper. Add rice and mix well.
Layer half the cabbage in 2-quart buttered casserole. Add beef mixture and press down. Add remaining cabbage. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Press down. Pour sauce over top.
Cover and bake at 350 for 1 hour.
Missing A My Great Recipes Card?
If you’re longing for a treasured recipe from My Great Recipes, please look at the original post about the collection of cards I have. There’s a list of all of the recipes, and a link to a spreadsheet with the recipes, too.