Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls take a classic comfort dish and make it even more comforting. Because the slow cooker is all about comfort food. It's a wonderful thing to come home to a house filled with mouth-watering aromas and a hot dinner that's already made. I get a happy feeling just thinking about it as I go about the day. Really, dinner is already ready? When I get home, I don't have to think about dinner, or cook it. How great is that. Slow cookers are the best thing ever invented for kitchens.
Homey, humble cabbage rolls are one of those classic, big batch dishes. Big batch because, well, cabbages are big. Stuffed cabbage dishes are a featured in many cultural cuisines. But the cabbage rolls that most Canadians are familiar with are of Ukrainian origin. They are usually a filling of ground meat and rice, rolled up in cabbage leaves. Then you top them with tomato sauce and bake. They are a delicious staple in many generations of Canadian homes.
Cabbage roll recipes vary greatly, and many Moms and Grandmas have their own cherished recipe versions. Sometimes they have bacon, ground pork, or turkey. Some versions have different veggies, and use different kinds of cabbages. This recipe is as basic as you can get, but it's still delicious. You can roll these up on a Sunday, and on Monday morning, plug in the slow cooker for a hearty and satisfying dinner when you get home.
Although they seem like a lot of work, the only really labour intensive part of making cabbage rolls is softening the leaves. Which, when you break it down to standing over a pot of boiling water with tongs in hand, isn't really hard at all. And slow cooker cabbage rolls are especially easy because there's no pre cooking the filling. Cabbage rolls are perfect for the freezer, and because it's a large batch, you'll even get a bonus extra meal. That's another thing that gives me happy feelings. Dinner in the freezer, already cooked, and just waiting for me to re heat. Another awesome thing to remember during a busy day.. Sometimes not cooking, is the best cooking.
- 1 cabbage
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 cup uncooked rice
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 4 cups tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 4 tbsp brown sugar
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- With a sharp knife, core cabbage, and remove the outer layer of leaves
- Add cabbage to boiling water and boil for 2-3 minutes. Using tongs, remove the leaves as they soften, about 2-3 minutes per layer. Transfer leaves to a colander.
- When you have 16 softened cabbage leaves of roughly the same size, set aside while you make the filling.
- In a bowl, combine egg, ground beef, rice onion, salt and pepper.
- In another bowl, combine tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar.
- To make the rolls, put a couple of tablespoons of filling down the center of each cabbage leaf.
- Fold up the sides and then roll the leaves, placing each roll seam side down in the slow cooker, until you have one layer.
- Cover with tomato sauce mixture.
- Add another layer of cabbage rolls, topping with tomato sauce mixture, and continue.
- Pour the remaining sauce over the top.
- Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours
Of course, the cook time here is passive because we're slow cooking, but all slow cookers are different, so cook time can vary depending on your cooker. Use the remainder of your cabbage in soups or stews, and you can save the cabbage cooking water for soup, too.