Chef Russell Weir, Algonquin College
This recipe was chosen from a student submission to a college cookbook. It represents a Ukranian family heritage. The “lazy” part of the title stems from the meaty filling being layered with shredded cabbage instead of being wrapped inside cabbage leaves which is a bit of a time-saver. Chef Weir features the recipe in campus menus served with mashed or whipped potatoes.
This recipe was adapted from Chef Weir’s original and modified to cook at home.
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1½ lb (750 kg) Lean Ground Beef
1½ tsp (7 mL) salt, divided
1 tsp (5 mL) fresh ground pepper
1 tsp (5 mL) EACH dried basil and oregano leaves
3 cups (750 mL) tomato sauce or marinara sauce, divided
½ cup (125 mL) long-grain white rice (uncooked)
8 cups (2 L) shredded green cabbage (about 2 lb/1 kg untrimmed, see Tip)
2 large carrots, shredded
- Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Cook onion, celery and garlic, stirring, for about 3 minutes or until onions are translucent and soft. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool slightly.
- Add beef, 1 tsp (5 mL) of the salt, pepper, basil and oregano to onion mixture in bowl; gently mix with a fork until blended (careful not to over-mix). Mix in 1 cup (250 mL) of the tomato sauce. Combine cabbage, carrots and remaining ½ tsp (2 mL) salt in another large bowl. Set both aside.
- Spread about one-quarter of the cabbage mixture in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch (33 x 23 cm) glass baking dish. Sprinkle rice over top. Spoon half of the meat mixture evenly layer over rice. Spread half of the remaining cabbage mixture over meat. Repeat with remaining meat and cabbage mixtures, pressing gently to fit into dish. Pour remaining tomato sauce evenly over top.
- Cover dish tightly with foil. Bake in preheated 350°F (180°C) oven for 1¼ hours or until sauce is bubbling.
- Uncover and bake for about 15 minutes or until rice and cabbage are tender and a digital instant-read thermometer inserted in the centre of casserole reads 160°F (71°C) at the least.
- Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Cut casserole into portions to serve.
Tip: To shred the cabbage, cut into wedges about 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) thick; trim out tough portion of leaves and discard. Place a wedge with one cut side down and cut crosswise into thin strips.