I decided to make this recipe because the title sounded delicious - caramelized anything sounds delicious - but, as I was pulling it together, and leaving out all the sweet ingredients because we don't like sweet with meat, I wondered whether it would be bland because there is NO seasoning. Surprisingly, it was DELICIOUS! We still can't figure out why, but easy and delicious is a winner in my book!
The original recipe is linked below, even though I left all the sweet ingredients out.
Original recipe: Kalpudding (Meatloaf with Caramelized Cabbage)
GF Meatloaf with Caramelized Cabbage
- 2 T plus 1 t. unsalted butter, divided
- 1 head green cabbage (1.5-2 pounds*) cored and shredded
- 2 t himalayan pink salt
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and minced
- 1.25 c. heavy cream
- 5 T chia seeds, preferably ground
- 1/2 cup homemade low-salt chicken, beef, or vegetable stock, or water.
Heat the oven to 350F. I used our toaster oven.
In a large pan over medium-high heat, melt 2 T. butter. When it starts to foam, add the cabbage, lower the heat to medium, and add the salt. Cook slowly, stirring often, until all the liquid has evaporated and the cabbage is caramelized, approximately 20-25 minutes.
While the cabbage is cooking, add the chia to the cream and mix well. Let it sit until the chia is hydrated, about 10 minutes. Lightly stir in the meats, then add the onion and mix to combine.
When the cabbage is done, add about one third of it to the meat mixture and mix to combine.
Use the remaining 1 t. butter to grease an 10" square baking pan (I used the 8 x 12 pan that fit in our toaster oven) and transfer the meat mixture to it, spreading it out to cover the whole surface evenly.
Spread the remaining cabbage over the meat, pour the stock or water over the top, and place in the oven. Cook for approximately 40-45 minutes or until the cabbage is very, very caramelized, almost dry and crunchy at the edges. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
*I prefer a higher percentage of cabbage to meat, so I use 2 pounds of cabbage.
*I have also made this with 1.5 pounds of canned (i.e cooked) ground beef, half a pound of raw ground pork, and 3 pounds of cabbage (a mix of chinese and savoy), and it was tender and tasty, but it didn't fit in my 8x12 pan so I made the extra into 1" meatballs and cooked them for 12 minutes. Yum!! I will definitely be making it that way again!
*And, I have made it with 1.5 pounds of cooked ground beef and 1/2 pound of raw veal mixed with 1.5 pounds of cabbage (that was all I had on hand) and it was still good! My husband - raving about it - had it for lunch and dinner, and he rarely eats the same meal twice in a row.
*Well....Now I know what makes it taste so good! I made it today with 1.5 pounds cooked beef and 1/2 pound of raw veal but replaced the cream with veal broth. The first thing my husband said was, "Did you change something? It's not as rich!" I had to agree, it wasn't as good, even though I had increased the amount of butter to compensate for the fat in the cream.
So...it appears that you can play around with the meat types and proportions, but replace the cream at your risk! I thought about using coconut cream, but felt it would compromise the flavor, as would nut milk. If you use either one of those successfully, please let me know.