Meat, vegetable, and rice — that’s what you get with every serving of Finnish Ground Beef and Cabbage Casserole. Of course, you can eat each of them separately, but altogether in a casserole? It’s three times as delicious in every bite!
You can’t find lingonberry jam or sauce in your area? Don’t worry about it.
This traditional Finnish dish is just as delicious without any lingonberries — and the best part? It tastes even better the day after; if there’s any left, that is.
WHAT YOU NEED TO PREPARE BEEF & CABBAGE CASSEROLE
WHAT KIND OF STOCK SHOULD I USE?
You can use chicken or vegetable if you prefer.
But beef stock is always the best type that you can use. It gives you more depth in the meat flavor of the dish.
WHAT IS THE BEST TYPE OF RICE TO USE?
It’s excellent for this recipe because it does not get mushy. I have tried cooking the rice in the oven, with the cooked beef and cabbage, and I was not so happy with the result.
With basmati, you can rest assured that it will still be firm even if you cook it separately.
HOW TO MAKE CABBAGE CASSEROLE – Step by STEP
Start by cooking the rice as usual (photo 1).
While rice is cooking, get a pan or a skillet for preparing the ground beef. Set it in medium-high heat and add two tbsp of olive oil. Saute the garlic and onion until they softened (photo 2).
Add the ground beef and mix for a couple of minutes (photo 3).
Cover the pan with a lid, turn down the heat and continue cooking until beef is slightly cooked (about 25 minutes).
On a separate pan, add the remaining olive oil, add the cabbage and salt. Cover with a lid and cook until the cabbage has slightly softened (photo 4).
Preheat the oven to 200°C (375°F).
Add the cooked beef and rice to the softened cabbage. Pour syrup and mix to combine (photo 5).
Place the beef and cabbage mixture back into the skillet, or into a clean baking dish. Pour the stock into it (photo 6).
Place the skillet (or baking dish) in the oven for 45 minutes.
Set aside for about 15 minutes. Serve.
TOP TIPS ON MAKING THIS GROUND BEEF & CABBAGE CASSEROLE RECIPE
- Chop the cabbage finely; it makes it quicker to cook and serve.
- If you can, use beef stock. It helps in giving more depth to the beef flavor in the casserole.
- You can skip the syrup if you prefer. Or use less if you’re not sure. It does help in adding more sweetness to the cabbage in the dish.
- Taste and season the beef and cabbage separately before mixing them all. Do not forget to consider if your stock is properly seasoned as well.
- While in the oven, if you notice that the top is getting too dark, cover it with an aluminum foil and uncover for the last five minutes of cooking.
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Finnish Ground Beef & Cabbage Casserole
- 1/2 kg ground beef
- 3/4 to 1 kg cabbage, chopped finely
- 1/2 cup rice
- 3 tbsp olive oil (divided into 1 & 2 tbsp)
- 1 cup stock
- 2 tbsp syrup
- 1 medium onion, chopped finely
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
- salt and pepper, for seasoning
- Cook the rice as usual (or as per package).
- While rice is cooking, heat two tablespoons of olive oil on a medium-sized skillet or pan; over medium-high heat.
- Add garlic and onion. Cook until onion has softened.
- Add ground beef. Mix until most of the meat has changed color.
- Season with salt and pepper. Cover skillet with a lid, adjust the heat to medium, and continue cooking until the beef is almost cooked (about 25 minutes). Mix occasionally.
- Using a large pan, heat remaining olive oil. Add the finely chopped cabbage and season with salt.
- Cover and cook until the cabbage has slightly softened.
- Preheat oven to 200°C (375°F).
- Add the ground beef and rice in the large pan with the cabbage. Add syrup and mix to combine.
- Put the beef and cabbage mixture back in the skillet. Pour the stock evenly.
- Place skillet in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes.
- Take the casserole out of the oven and set aside for about 15 minutes.
- Make sure you chop the cabbage finely; it makes it quicker to cook and easier to serve (and eat).
- Beef stock is the best type of stock to use for this casserole because it will give you more depth to the flavor of the dish.
- Basmati rice is an excellent choice for this recipe because it will not get mushy even if you cook them separately.
- Do not forget to taste and season each element individually (i.e., the beef and cabbage) before mixing them all. Also bear in mind if you are using a seasoned stock; go easy on the salt of the other elements.
- In the oven, if you notice that the top is getting too dark, do not hesitate to cover it with an aluminum foil. Uncover during the last five minutes of cooking.