The other day I ran into the local organic market to grab some eggs and veggies. I noticed that they had some really nice kale, so I put it in the cart. I love greens, spinach, really anything dark and leafy. My husband, not so much. He refers to the green stuff as, “rabbit food”. So whenever I can sneak it into a meal without him throwing a fit….SUCCESS!
I was in the mood for stuffed cabbage tonight, but I didn’t have any cabbage in the house. I did, however, have that beautiful kale. Normally, I would be eating my kale sautéed with some bacon, but I thought I would give this a try. This is a no fuss, super simple thing to make. By covering it with sauce and stuffing it with beef, I figured my husband would eat it without complaining. I was right as always. LOL This recipe is a variation of my mom’s stuffed cabbage recipe. I tweaked it a bit, but for the most part it’s the same. The sauce is a sweet tomato based sauce, but feel free to tweak away if sweet is not your cup of tea.
1 pound ground sirloin
1 small vidalia onion, chopped
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/4-1/2 cup uncooked minute rice
Granulated garlic (to taste)
Sea salt (to taste)
Hot shot (to taste, if you don’t remember what hot shot is from previous posts, it’s a black pepper/red pepper mix)
1 large can of tomato sauce (29 oz)
Lemon juice (to taste)
Brown sugar (to taste)
1/2 cup of water (maybe a little more)
Few shakes of roasted garlic red wine vinegar
1 bunch of kale, blanched (about 20 leaves…..blanch in boiling hot water for about 5-10 minutes and then quickly put into an ice water bath to stop the cooking. Take out of the ice water and pat dry)
In a large bowl, mix the tomato sauce, lemon juice (start with maybe a half a lemon and go from there), brown sugar, water, and red wine vinegar. The sauce should be sweet and slightly tart. No one flavor should over power the other. If you don’t want it super sweet, cut down on the amount of sugar you use. Just keep tasting it until it’s to your liking. For me, I used about 1/4 cup of lemon juice and two small handfuls of brown sugar. The flavors will intensify upon cooking because the sauce will reduce down so keep that in mind. Set aside for later.
In a saute pan, lightly caramelize the onions in a bit of butter. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, mix together the ground sirloin, uncooked rice, egg, garlic, spices, and cooled onion.
In a large casserole dish, put a thin layer of sauce to coat the bottom of the dish. Place a small amount (about the size of a lime) of the meat mixture on a kale leaf and roll just like you would stuffed cabbage. When all the kale is rolled, place the remainder of the sauce on top, cover with foil, and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 2 hours. After 2 hours, remove the foil, and continue to bake for about another hour (maybe a little less). Serve with some mashed potatoes.
I’m going to post some pics, one of which is before the ceremonial saucing and a couple after.