Friday, April 4, 2014

Quick and easy ground beef and cabbage

I made a wonderful supper tonight.  Really.  Wonderful. 

Every once in awhile I get lucky. 

I haven't have much imagination for cooking these days.  Most often lately, I've thrown something together with left overs, fried eggs or made pancakes, or let Joe cook.

Maybe it was the positive glow of losing four pounds this week.  Or maybe it was the energy gained from making ahead all kind of premixes for breakfasts.  Or maybe it was just that desperate feeling of not wanting to depend upon my husband once again.  Or the fear of him wanting to trade me in for a newer model if I didn't kick it into gear a little bit. 

Whatever it was, I'm not complaining. 

I don't know what to call this recipe.  It's got kind of an Eastern European flare to it. 

For lack of a better term, I'm going to call it Hungarian Beef and Cabbage.  All amounts are estimates.

Hungarian Beef and Cabbage
  • 2 pounds ground beef
Brown in 3 qt saucepan
  • 1/2 large head cabbage, sliced or cut
  • 1/2 small bag of baby carrots, or about three med carrots, peeled and sliced
Stir into about a tablespoon of your choice of fat in Dutch oven.  Heat and stir over medium-high heat until coated with oil and starting to cook.  Turn down to medium or medium-low and cover.  Stir occasionally. 
  • 1 tbs garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tbs onion powder
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 2 tbs caraway seeds
  • 1 tbs salt (if your tomato sauce is salted, you might not want to start with this much)
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbs sugar
Mix together in small dish and set aside.

When cabbage and carrots are most of the way cooked through, and beef is browned, mix everything together in the Dutch oven. 
  • 1 qt tomato sauce (see above note about salt)
Stir into the above.  Heat to simmering; turn down to maintain a very gentle simmer, and cover.
  • In the pan in which you browned your meat, bring 6 c water to boil with a tsp or so of salt and a generous drizzle of olive oil.  Add a splash of sesame oil if you have it.   
  • When the water boils, stir in 3 c white rice.  Return to boiling.  Reduce heat to just above lowest setting and cover.  
In twenty minutes remove both pots from heat and set aside for a few minutes while you set the table.  The rice will be nicer if it steams for a few minutes after removing from heat.  And the sauce will taste so good you'll burn your tongue if you don't let is sit a few minutes before eating it.
  • Just before serving, stir 1 c of sour cream into the sauce. 

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