My neighbors introduced this dish to me. It's unlike what I usually make, and is sounds vaguely gross. But don't let its humbleness fool you. It's a great meal!
And of course, it freezes perfectly.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Alex's Mom
1 head Savoy cabbage
1 pound ground beef
1 small to medium onion, chopped small
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 carrot, shredded
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 parsnip, shredded
1/2 cup brown rice (cooked for 1/2 the time. If using white rice, leave it uncooked)
1 to 2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 to 4 cups of your favorite simple tomato sauce (double batch of this)
Cut the core out of the cabbage but leave it whole. Place it, with the empty core area facing up, in a large bowl. Boil a small pot of water and pour the water over the cabbage and let it sit for ten minutes.
Heat the oil in a saute pan. (I like to use the large one I will cook the final dish in — a deep 12-inch saute pan — to save dishes.) Cook the onions until they are soft, add the carrot, celery and parsnip and saute them for a couple extra minutes — until they are also soft. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, transfer it to a bowl and let it cool a bit. Mix in the meat, rice and tomato paste and season again with salt and pepper.
Drain the head of cabbage. Pull off large leaves, cut out the large vein if you'd like — if the leaf is very large, you can make two rolls from each. Make sure leaves are not sopping wet. Roll about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of filling in each leaf and arrange in a large, wide pot. Pour in enough sauce to cover the rolls. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat, letting them simmer covered on the stove on low for about 45 minutes. Serve immediately. You can also bake these in 350 degree oven in a 9 x 13 pan covered for one hour, if like me, your large pot is otherwise engaged.