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2000s Recipes + Menus

Unstuffed Sweet-and-Sour Cabbage

Serves4 (main course)
  • Active time:25 min
  • Start to finish:1 hr
November 2008
Classic stuffed cabbage is a time-consuming endeavor. This unorthodox version, which uses dried cranberries and a combination of beef and pork, is much easier—and, we like to think, even better.

Watch a video about the life of this recipe.
  • 1 (2-lb) head green cabbage, quartered lengthwise and cored
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, divided
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 lb ground beef chuck
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1 (28-oz) can whole tomatoes in juice
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Accompaniment:

    steamed rice
  • Place cabbage in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet with broth, 1 garlic clove (sliced), and a rounded 1/4 tsp salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then cook, covered, turning cabbage occasionally, until very tender, about 45 minutes. (Add more broth or water if necessary.)
  • Meanwhile, cook onion and remaining garlic in oil in a heavy medium pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 8 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and stir in ground meats along with 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring and breaking up lumps with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes.
  • Stir in tomatoes with their juice, cranberries, vinegar, and brown sugar and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally and breaking up tomatoes with spoon, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Season with salt.
  • Pour sauce into skillet with cabbage and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Serve sprinkled with parsley.
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