These sweet and sour cabbage rolls with maple syrup are made with beef, onions and a sweet and sour tomato sauce.
Jason and I spent this past weekend at the Vermont Maple Sugar Maker’s Association Norther Vermont Conference. I was speaking about social media and food photography and I was also set up in the Expo area with my cookbook.
Then on Sunday Jase ran the mainline for our pipeline to get ready for the season. It was unseasonably warm, and Jase reports that the sap was actually running.
We didn’t go so far as to tap yet, but we’re making sure everything is ready to go, when the warm weather decides to stay.
Meanwhile, I am in the kitchen working on some comfort food recipes. And this Sweet and Sour Cabbage Roll recipe with maple syrup is on my mind. It is sort of like a sloppy joe mixture that goes inside the cabbage leaves.
Sweet and Sour Cabbage Rolls
Excerpted from Maple: 100 Sweet and Savory Recipes Featuring Pure Maple Syrup by Katie Webster. I wanted to call this recipe Sloppy Joe Cabbage Rolls, since the filling reminds me of Sloppy Joes. To get the cabbage leaves off in one piece, try coring your cabbage head first with a sharp pairing knife. Don’t worry if you can’t get whole cabbage pieces off in one whole leaf, just cook an extra, and wrap two together.
- 8 whole leaves from 1 large head cabbage
- 3 cups boiling water
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion small diced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ pound lean ground beef preferably grass fed
- 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 -15- ounce can tomato sauce bout 1 ¾ cups
- 1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella
Stack cabbage leaves in a large Dutch oven. Pour boiling water over the cabbage. Cover and place over high heat and boil, rotating top leaves toward the bottom as the stack shrinks down. Cook until the cabbage leaves are just tender enough to be pliable, but not so soft that they will tear, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain cabbage and lay them out on the work surface to cool.
Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and salt and cook, stirring often until the onion is soft and translucent and starting to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add beef, mushrooms and pepper and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until the beef is browned on all sides, and no longer pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in tomato paste until the beef and onion are coated and the tomato is not clumpy. Add vinegar, maple syrup and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Remove from the heat. Roll 1/4 cup filling in each cabbage leaf, tucking sides in.
Lay the rolls side-by side, seam side down in the skillet* see alternative slow cooker method. Pour tomato sauce over the rolls. Cover and place over medium-low heat. Cook in the simmering sauce until heated through and the cabbage is very tender, about 20 minutes. Remove lid and sprinkle with cheese. Cover and cook until the cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Let rolls sit for 10 minutes before serving.