I got this recipe from my friend, Debbie Rivera, way back in the 70's. She and I lost touch but her recipes live on!! She was a great good cook and she gave me quite a few recipes. This one is an easy and fast version of stuffed cabbage with all of the flavor and none of the tedium!! I like it like that!!
1Mix the ground beef with cooked rice, salt, pepper, and 2 Tbsp of water to moisten the meat mixture
2make meat rolls with 1/4 C of meat mixture for each one -- shaped like really fat cigars -- I suppose you could make simple meat balls too -- up to you -- but cabbage rolls are usually longish like the fat cigar shape.
3Layer: CABBAGE, MEAT, CABBAGE, MEAT, CABBAGE for stove top in 6qt pot
OR ALTERNATELY: CABBAGE, MEAT, CABBAGE, IN RECTANGULAR BAKING DISH
4Another alternative: to save time you can simply layer the cabbage, meat, cabbage without even making rolls -- it all tastes the same!!
5Pour on the tomatoes, the tomato sauce, and the water
6Cooks well in a crock pot for about 3 hours -- just make sure the meat is done. Can also cook on stove top or in oven for 1 hour or until the meat is done.
7TIME SAVING ALTERNATIVE: You can cut down on the cooking/prep time if you eliminate the rice, and use 1 package cole slaw, and 2 lbs of frozen prepared meat balls. Italian style is best. Just throw in the tomato sauce and cook until the cabbage is tender and the meat is heated. I throw the frozen meat balls into the crock pot being sure to not touch the sides of the crock pot. Just make sure they are "insulated" with cabbage. Cook on high for about 3 hours or until done. Can cook all day on low. Enjoy!!