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!
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If 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.
- Stock – you can use chicken or vegetable stock if that’s what you have.
But if you want more depth in the casserole’s flavor, you need to use beef stock instead.
- Rice – I strongly suggest you use basmati rice. It’s excellent for casseroles because it does not get mushy quickly.
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 twenty-five 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 a clean baking dish. Pour the stock into it (photo 6).
Place the skillet (or baking dish) in the oven for forty-five minutes.
Set aside for about fifteen minutes. Serve.
Tips and FAQs
- 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 you’re 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.
- CAN YOU FREEZE COOKED CABBAGE CASSEROLE?
Just make sure you place it in an airtight container or freezer bag first, then store it in the freezer.
So, there you go. One new dish to try this weekend — and then let me know what you think in the comment section below!
Finnish Ground Beef & Cabbage Casserole
- 1/2 kg ground beef (about 1 lb)
- 3/4 to 1 kg cabbage (about 1.5 to 2 lbs), 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
Preparing the Casserole:
- 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.
Baking the Cabbage Casserole:
- 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’s quicker to cook and is easier to eat.
- Beef stock is the best type of stock to use for this cabbage casserole because it will give you more depth of flavor.
- 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 and go easy on the salt.
- 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.