When I made Stuffed Cabbage Rolls last week, I completely underestimated how long it would take to me to eat them. I only made more than twenty…
In a desperate attempt to save what was quickly becoming forgotten about in the fridge, endlessly pushed aside in search of fresher flavor, I decided to reinvent the cabbage rolls. Put them in a new disguise so as to make them exciting and appealing again.
And, it worked! I transformed them into a Shepard’s Pie of sorts. I un-rolled the cabbage rolls, chopped up the leaves and reheated them with the meat filling, breaking that up so the whole thing resembled a nice stew. I added back in a little of the leftover tomato sauce and some more salt and pepper and even threw some kale in for good measure. I baked it under with a topping of golden mashed potatoes and I was in leftover heaven.
Lamb, Beef and Cabbage Shepard’s Pie
- 10 cabbage rolls, cabbage leaves chopped and meaty centers separated
- 1/4 cup leftover tomato sauce
- pinch red pepper flake
- 1 cup kale, chopped
- splash of white wine vinegar
For the Potato Crust:
- 5 Yukon Gold potatoes, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 tablespoons ghee
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- salt and pepper
In a pot, add the potatoes and garlic cloves. Cover with cold water and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender, 8-12 minutes.
Transfer the potatoes to a food mill, reserving the starchy liquid left in the pot. In a large bowl, add the ghee and thyme and mill the potatoes directly over top. Stir to combine. Splash in some of the cooking liquid if the potatoes look a little dry. I think I used around 2 tablespoons. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the meat filling and cabbage leaves. As the mixture warms, gently break up the meat with the back of a wooden spoon and stir everything together until well combined. Stir in the kale and allow it to begin to wilt. Add the tomato sauce and crushed red pepper flake and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook about 8 minutes, until the mixture is hot and thick. Season with salt and pepper and a splash of vinegar.
Preheat your oven’s broiler to high.
Spoon the cabbage and meat mixture into an oven proof vessel. You could make individual ones in ramekins or I baked one large one in a giant souffle dish. Top with the mashed potatoes and use a spoon to give the potatoes a nice swirly texture on top. Broil on high for 8-10 minutes, until the potatoes are golden brown. Enjoy!