Crazy Cabbage

cabbageToday is the LAST DAY of August, and my LAST DAY of blogging every. single. day.

Can you gimme a hallelujah?

At any rate, it was quite cool yesterday – it only got up to about 65 degrees, something that is completely unheard of in late August in Texas, but very common here in northeast Ohio.  While I hate the winters here with a pink and purple passion, I can say I love the other seasons, mostly because there are seasons (as opposed to Broiling Hot Summer, which lasts 9 months out of the year, and Not Quite Broiling Hot Summer for the other 3 down in Texas).  And because it was cool, comfort food for dinner was in order.

This dish is extremely easy and inexpensive to make and it is quite tasty – and it’s not too bad for you either.  It does take awhile, because it cooks in the oven on a fairly low temperature, but don’t be tempted to cook it any more quickly or you’ll miss out on the roasted flavor that the long, slow cooking imparts.  The original recipe called for just a can of chopped tomatoes, but I like some zing in it and use Rotel tomatoes and chilies.  The original recipe also calls for it to be topped with strips of bacon, which is discarded when the dish is served, but Darling Daughter (who also loves this dish) claims everything is better topped with cheese.  In this case, she is 100% correct.

Leftovers reheat really well, and it’s supposed to freeze well, but I’ve never had any that lasted long enough to freeze.

Crazy Cabbage

serves 6

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup dehydrated onion flakes OR

1 small yellow onion, finely chopped

2 – 10 oz. undrained cans diced tomatoes with chilies (I use Rotel)

1 1/2 pounds coarsely chopped cabbage (1 small head before trimming)

6 slices Deluxe American cheese slices OR

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 325 ° F.

Brown the ground beef, seasoned with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder, with the onions; drain if necessary.  Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking dish and spread half the cabbage in the bottom.  Top with the meat and remaining cabbage; season with a little more salt and pepper.  Pour the tomatoes and chilies as evenly as possible over the top.

Cover with foil and bake for 3 hours.  Remove the foil and cover the top with the cheese.  Return to the oven for another 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Serve immediately.

Creole-Style Steak

Creole SteakI only have three words for this dish.

Oh.  My.  Gawd.

Yes, it was yummy.

In my never ending quest to find new ways to cook a freezer full of inexpensive cuts of beef, I ran across a version of this recipe while looking for main dishes that would go well with baked cheese grits.  Would it go well with the cheese grits?  Yes indeed it would, but it was just fine with plain white rice.

Because you are using an inexpensive cut of beef, this dish takes awhile to cook, so you may want to start it early, make it on the weekend, or plan on a late dinner (we chose the latter option).  I imagine it would do well in the crock pot, if you don’t mind skipping the step of sweating the onions to soften and sweeten them.

Also, everything in the dish are things you should either already have on hand or are readily available at the grocery store, and don’t let the list of ingredients intimidate you –  it is very easy and inexpensive to make.  Everyone in our family just loved it, including The Young One, which is saying something.

Creole-Style Steak

serves 4 – 6

3 pounds boneless chuck steak

salt and pepper

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium onion, thickly sliced

1 large carrot, peeled and cut in to large pieces

1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into large pieces

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups beef broth or bouillon

1 – 15 oz. can tomato sauce

1 heaping tablespoon packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Season the steak lightly with salt and pepper.  Heat one tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large, heavy skillet over high heat and brown the steak on both sides; remove from the pan and reserve on a plate.

Add the other two tablepoons of oil to the skillet, lower the heat to medium low and add the onion, carrot and bell pepper to the skillet; saute briefly, stirring frequently, until the onions are wilted but not brown.  Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.

Add the beef stock, tomato sauce, brown sugar and spices to the vegetables, stirring well.  Return the steaks to the skillet along with any juices that might have collected on the plate, spooning the vegetables and liquid over them.

Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the steaks are fork tender.  Uncover the pan the last 15 – 20 minutes of cooking to let the sauce thicken slightly if desired.