Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this dish. As it cooks, the flavors blend to create something that’s not at all simple -- the cabbage undergoes a subtle transformation when it melds with the ground beef. Even better the next day.
This is comfort food. It’s not soup, but we eat it out of bowl like soup, pairing it with cornbread or crusty garlic bread. It makes a lot, but it’s wonderful tucked into whole-wheat pita for lunch the next day. Or add a can of chopped tomatoes, a can of corn and some broth to the leftovers for a delicious soup for supper in a day or two. Freezes well, too.
In a large pot, brown the ground beef with the garlic and onion. Don’t drain the fat (if you use high-fat ground beef, you may want to remove part of the grease, but some is needed for flavor—this is still a very low-calorie dish).
Chop the cabbage coarsely (large chop) and add on top of the ground beef. Add salt and pepper. Cover kettle. Push cabbage down if necessary. It will cook down quickly. Reduce heat to low. Cook until the cabbage is tender...about 45 minutes.
Stir hamburger and cabbage together, and serve in bowls.
Variation: When the cabbage is tender crisp, stir in a large can of chopped tomatoes with the juice (and maybe a dash of cayenne pepper and ¼ -½ tsp. of turmeric, if we’re in the mood for a little heat.). Add a can of Ro-Tel tomatoes or ½-1 cup of chunky salsa, if desired. Continue cooking until the cabbage is done and the tomatoes are hot. Stir everything together and serve in bowls.
This variation will be more like soup, although it still won’t have a lot of liquid. Sometimes we add some brown Minute Rice right at the end, too. If you do this, you need to increase the liquid somehow: add some tomato juice or water or chicken broth. As you can see, this is a very forgiving recipe that will let you adjust it to your “taste of the day” or the taste of the people you’re serving it to.