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Unstuffed Cabbage II (M, TNT)
Source: Self
Serves: 6-8

1-1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
1/2 cup raw rice
2 tablespoons dried minced onions, divided
1/4 cup brown sugar, to taste
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
28 ounces whole peeled tomatoes
6 ounces tomato paste
1/2 cup vinegar, or lemon juice
6 ginger snaps for flavor, or fresh or dried ginger to taste
1 medium head cabbage

In a large bowl, combine beef, water, eggs, rice, 2 tsp. dried minced onion, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly with your hands and form into golf ball-sized balls. Set aside.

In another large bowl, combine tomatoes, tomato paste, rest of dried minced onions, vinegar, and brown sugar to taste. With a knife, cut the tomatoes into chunks and stir it into the sauce until well mixed. Add the ginger snaps (crumbled) and stir. Taste and correct for flavor; should be sweet and sour. Set aside.

Core the cabbage and shred. Place half of the cabbage on the bottom of a shallow casserole which has a tight-fitting lid. Cover the cabbage with half the tomato mixture. Arrange the meat balls on top and cover with remaining cabbage. Top with the remaining tomato mixture. Cover tightly with foil and place the lid on top. Bake at 325°F for one hour.

Reduce heat to 250°F and bake for two more hours.

At this point, the casserole may be cooled, wrapped and frozen. For the best taste, remove casserole from the oven, cool and refrigerate overnight. The next day, let the casserole come to room temperature and then bake, uncovered, at 300°F for 45 minutes. If the casserole is to be eaten the same day, remove the lid for at least 45 minutes of the two-hour baking time.

Poster's Notes:
#1: If you like, you can stuff the cabbage leaves be sure to blanch them first BEFORE stuffing and layer them making sure you have sauce on the bottom and between each layer. Proceed to cook as described. It is the GINGER SNAPS that make the difference.

#2: I sometimes brown the meat (skip the meatball making) and then add the other ingredients. It can also be made in the crockpot.

Posted by Elaine Radis

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A