Friday, March 22, 2013

Venison Cabbage Rolls with Tomato, Saurkraut and Kielbasa

There is something so liberating about making a dish the day ahead of time and then just having to cook it on the day you plan to enjoy the dish. I rarely use a crock pot but sometimes the crock pot can make these make ahead meals even more fun because you can have the dish simmering all day. This will allow you to graze on your finished meal all day. I just had a cabbage roll, some sauerkraut, and piece of kielbasa. I told the Hub I think I will eat one every half an hour until I have to go to bed. They are that delicious!  The layering of this cabbage rolls with kielbasa and saurkraut is actually my aunt Liz's idea.  I think it tastes brilliant!
Grill a package of kielbasa.
Crumble venison into a bowl, add sauteed onions, and brown rice.
Drain a bag of saurkraut, get your tomatoes ready (for me this meant thawing a bag of roasted tomatoes from last summer), boil your cabbage leaves, and then roll your cabbage rolls with about 1/2 cup of meat/rice/onion mixture in each roll.
Time to layer your crockpot. I start with tomatoes, then sauerkraut, cabbage rolls, kielbasa, tomatoes, sauerkraut, cabbage rolls, sauerkraut and finally tomatoes again.
Turn the crockpot on high for about 4 hours before you want to start grazing. You end up with this:
Cabbage Rolls
1 head cabbage
3 cups roasted tomatoes
1 pkg. kielbasa
1 bag sauerkraut
1 1/4 lb ground venison
1 cup brown rice
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 large onion
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp olive oil
Boil a big pot of water to boil the cabbage head in. Slice the cabbage at the bottom so you will be able to peel off leaves as they cook. Once the water has come to a boil place the cabbage head in the boiling water. Slowly peel the leaves off as they cook until you have enough. I actually only used about 1/2 the head of cabbage.
Slice the kielbasa in half, then thirds then in half. Grill until done.
Bring 2 cups of water to boil, add 1 cup rice and 1 tbsp salt, turn temperature to low and simmer until there is no water left. Turn off heat and cover with a lid. Let rest for about 15 minutes
Dice onion. Add olive oil, 1 tsp salt and onion to a saucepan on medium heat. Saute in golden about 7 minutes.
Mix venison, onions and rice.
Roll the cabbage rolls by adding about 1/2 cup of venison mixture to each wilted leaf.
Once you've done all this you're ready to layer the crock pot and cook as I've described above.

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