Hearty and comforting with notes of sweet and sour, our Cabbage Roll Stew holds true to its Polish heritage. But unlike traditional cabbage rolls, this stew requires no prepping of the meat mixture, no rolling and no baking.
With the return of cold weather, Philip and I find ourselves gravitating back into the kitchen and craving dishes that are made together in the oven or over the stove. It takes us back to the beginning of our relationship where I'd collect heat in front of the pot boiling on the stove, stirring to keep myself warm as Philip gathered and prepped ingredients. It's this exact moment where I was honoured the title of sous chef in our kitchen, and am reminded as I warm up and stir Cabbage Roll Stew atop the stove.
Hearty and comforting with notes of sweet and sour, our Cabbage Roll Stew is inspired by ingredients of beef mixed with rice, rolled in a cabbage leaf and baked until tender. Created on a base of smokey and salty bacon, flavours of mirepoix, cabbage, and ground beef stew in a rich tomato sauce with splashes of tangy Worcestershire and cider vinegar before adding in brown rice.
The best thing about this soup, aside from eating it of course, is the scent of cabbage rolls singing from the pot of stew as it simmers and melds into the ultimate one pot and leave fall dish. Another thing we love about this cabbage roll stew is its ability to handle substitutions and swaps for all diners. Swapping ground beef for lentils, or brown rice for grated cauliflower or zucchini - the versatility of endless and the results are simply the same, the delicious taste of cabbage rolls without all the work.
Chef Sous Chef
Beef & Bacon Cabbage Roll Stew
- 3 slices bacon
- 300 g ground beef
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 large carrots chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 3 cups green cabbage
- 1 can diced or crushed tomatoes 796ml/28oz
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup brown rice
- No. 1 | Preheat a large pot on medium heat. Cook the bacon until brown and starting to crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the diced onion, carrots, and celery. Saute with the bacon for 5 minutes, until tender. Add the ground beef breaking chunks off and spreading around the pan. Stir in the paprika and allspice and allow to cook for a few minutes until the meat is well coated and just starting to brown.
- No. 2 | Add the cabbage to the meat and combine. Pour in the cider vinegar and the Worcestershire sauce the give the mixture a good mix. Add the tomatoes, stir, then pour in the beef stock. Crank the heat to high and bring the stew to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours.
- No. 3 | Once you are about an hour from serving, remove the lid and stir in the brown rice. Cover and cook for an additional 45 minutes. Sprinkle in ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Cook for a few more minutes, then taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if necessary.