We’ve had a lot of cabbage in our winter CSA share this year and have already enjoyed three huge pots of various cabbage soups (including this one) and made colcannon twice, so I was looking for a different way to use yet another cabbage. Suddenly, it came to me: crock pot halupki!
If you have a Polish or Russian grandmother in your family, chances are you’ve had stuffed cabbage, also called halupki or golumpki. Traditionally, this is a dish of ground meat and rice stuffed and rolled into large cabbage leaves and slowly baked with tomatoes or tomato juice. My Polish grannee would make this from time to time and hers was the best, but it sure took a lot of time. First you had to boil the cabbage leaves and make the meat stuffing, then you had to cool the cabbage leaves, stuff each one with the filling, and bake. One day, I will have time to make such a time-consuming, but delicious meal for my family, but not now.
Instead, I searched the web for a crockpot recipe for undone stuffed cabbage. In my heart, I believe that someone has perfected this recipe, but I could not find one that was both easy and like my grannee’s, so I made my own recipe. I used tomatoes that I had frozen whole from the summer, but canned would work just as well. Here is my easy recipe:
Jen’s Lazy Crock Pot Undone Stuffed Cabbage Recipe
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 onion
- 1 head cabbage
- 3/4 cup brown rice
- 2 cans tomatoes and their juices(diced/whole/crushed whatever) or 7-8 whole tomatoes, chopped or crushed
- large splash of vinegar
- 1 TBSP sugar
- 1 TSP salt
- 1 cup water or stock
- salt and pepper
Brown beef with onions.
While beef cooks, combine tomatoes with vinegar, sugar, and salt. Core and chop cabbage. Place half of cabbage in crock pot and top with half of tomato sauce. Top with browned beef and onions. Sprinkle rice on top of beef mixture, then top with remaining cabbage and remaining tomato sauce. Pour in cup of water or stock.
Cook on low for 8-10 hours until cabbage and rice are done. Season with salt and pepper to taste.