Every year around Succot I make a giant pot of my mother’s stuffed cabbage recipe (with some small tweaks) and distribute it to my in laws and parents.It disappears off plates faster than I can blink. However the rolling and stuffing make this a one time a year deal. The At Home Gourmet, as well as several other cookbooks, tried to solve this dilemma by creating the same flavorful dish WITHOUT the need to neatly package the meat inside the cabbage.
This cabbage and meatballs recipe was trotted out recently on a WEEKDAY night much to the shock and awe of my family. Not only was it not Succot it wasn’t even Shabbos! That’s how easy this recipe looked – I didn’t wait for a special occasion.
Ingredients: ground beef, matzo meal, egg, salt, pepper, garlic powder, shredded cabbage, ketchup, tomato sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, salt, water
The Process: I mixed the beef, matzoh, egg and spices in a bowl. The rest of the ingredients were dumped into a pot over a low flame. When the sauce and cabbage began to boil I formed the meatballs and dropped them in. Everything cooked for 1.5 hours while I went about my business as usual.
For a cheaper but more work version you can slice your own cabbage instead of buying the pre-shredded bag.
The Results: This too disappeared before I could blink. Bowls of meatballs and cabbage were being fought over by family members. A huge hit and very easy to make. However you cannot scrimp on the cooking time – your cabbage will be raw!
I still like to make the pretty cabbage rolls for Succot (this recipe looks like it is depicted – a stew like mix). If time was short though, this would be a pretty good substitute.