When I was home in Michigan last week, my mom made unstuffed cabbage for a family dinner one evening. Everyone raved about it and I really enjoyed it too. In fact, most of us even went for seconds! I think what surprised me most about this meal was the fact that I’d never made it before! I don’t know why it never crossed my mind, especially since it’s way easier than stuffing cabbage leaves with meat (only to tear the leaves and have them fall apart).
Anyway, I decided to make my own variation when I got back to Portland. I made a smoky version by adding bacon and fire roasted tomatoes, and tweaked a few other things as well. It turned out mighty tasty and even though I like the recipe my mom made, it’s fun to come up with a new twist.
Smoky Unstuffed Cabbage
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 strips quality pork bacon, chopped
- 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1 heaping Tbsp dried parsley
- 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 4 Tbsp tomato paste
- 3 Tbsp chicken bone broth
- 1/2 medium head green cabbage, chopped
- Add the chopped bacon to a large pan over medium heat. After a minute, add the onion, garlic and celery. Continue to cook for a few minutes.
- Next, add the ground beef and break up the meat with a spatula. Add the dried parsley and season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 5-7 minutes or until meat is browned and cooked through.
- Add the fire roasted tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir over medium-low heat. Once mixed through, remove from heat and pour mixture into the slow cooker. Top with chopped cabbage and then pour the bone broth on top. Add more sea salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
- Cook on low for 6 hours or until cabbage is soft.
- Serve in bowls by itself or over mashed cauliflower. Also, as a treat, pair it with homemade almond flour biscuits.