This one pot meal, rustic and easy to make, Lazy Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls (Ленивые Голубцы) is perfect to make when you’re in a hurry. If you love eating traditional Cabbage Rolls, but are too busy with life to spend 3 hours making them, then I’m talking to you!
Don’t get me wrong, traditional Cabbage Rolls are so delicious, but soooo time consuming, that we don’t eat it as often as we would like. They are a staple of the Eastern European kitchen, a form of comfort food.
I had the best intention to make proper cabbage rolls. Ok, honestly, I bought on impulse, a beautiful Savoy cabbage, which I thought would make great looking cabbage rolls. But life happened. Between physio and Dr. appointments and gym, I was running out of time. So lazy cabbage rolls it is, or called Lazy Golutbsi. It’s not so much lazy, but as a time saver, saving you from boiling and individual wrapping of cabbage leaves. It’s more like a Cabbage Roll Casserole Stew.
I have a large 8 Quart Martha Stewart Cast Iron Round Casserole which works great as a one pot meal. It’s a large recipe, so if you don’t want leftovers, maybe just halve the recipe.
How to make Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls
The cabbage can be roughly chopped, bigger pieces are ok, as they shrink and shrivel considerably during the cooking process. I chop out the white thick stems in the larger pieces. Adding the fried meat mixture and tomato sauces, make this one pot wonder tastes just like the same cabbage rolls we all know and love, just without the mess and boiling of the cabbage head. I always generously serve with homemade sour cream.
There is of course some creative license… I can’t help myself and added some bacon to this recipe. This just gives it some depth and deliciousness. So go forth and make Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls. Take the easier route for dinner without compromising on taste. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls (Ленивые Голубцы)
Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls are a quick & easy one pot wonder with ground beef, rice and cabbage, almost a Casserole! Perfect When You Are in a Hurry! - Lazy Cabbage Rolls (Ленивые Голубцы)
- 1 large cabbage - roughly chopped 3" to 4" pieces
- 2 large onions finely chopped
- 2 carrots grated
- 6 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 lbs /1kg lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon each fresh chopped dill & thyme
- 2 cups uncooked medium grain rice
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 bottles of Passata Tomato Puree 25oz/700g
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 teaspoons Vegeta beef stock powder
- handful fresh chopped dill chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons of Maggi seasoning to taste optional
Wash and cook the rice as per package instructions and set aside to cool. TIP: Cook the rice in beef stock instead of water for a richer flavour. While rice is cooking, start prepping your vegetables and start step #2.
In a large cast iron dutch oven, (I used a 8 quart size) heat the oil on high heat and add the onions and fry for a few minutes until the onion softens. Add the carrots and 3 cloves garlic and continue to cook until carrots are tender.
Add the ground beef and continue to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring and breaking up the pieces occasionally. Mix in the dill, thyme, salt and pepper.
When the meat is cooked, add the cabbage leaves into the dutch oven. If there is too much cabbage, put the lid on for a few minutes, and the cabbage will reduce, as it's mostly water. Then add the rest of the cabbage. Stir with the meat mixture until combined.
Add the Passata, cooked rice, 3 cloves garlic, beef stock powder, chopped dill and sour cream. Mix thoroughly and taste. Add Maggi seasoning (optional - but adds great flavour) and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce and simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve with sour cream and dill.
*Using Passata gives this recipe a fresher tomato taste instead of cooking in tomato sauce and water like traditional Cabbage Rolls. Passata is an uncooked tomato purée that’s been strained of seeds and skins. If your supermarket doesn’t carry Passata, it can be found in Italian delis. If unavailable, substitute with 4 cans of crushed tomatoes.