The Ideal Winter Dish? It’s This Cozy Cabbage Recipe

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my expansive, ever-growing devotion to cabbages in the Cooking newsletter, casually asking readers if they were also on Team Cabbage.

I wasn’t banking on much of a response. After all, cabbage is a divisive vegetable with a stodgy reputation. Even enthusiasts are sometimes hesitant to lug home a head, as solid and heavy as a bowling ball. When grated, the average cabbage can yield anywhere from 8 to 12 cups— a mountain to get through.

Recipe: Pork-Cabbage Casserole

Savoy cabbage is best here. If you do use other varieties of cabbage, be sure to adjust the cook time accordingly.Credit…Armando Rafael for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

How wrong I was. Cabbage fans turned out in force, deluging my inbox with tributes, recipes, a short story, even a poem. It warmed my cabbage-loving heart.

This cabbage dish is a mash-up of several recipes gleaned from those reader emails. It crosses a caramelized cabbage and onion sauté with a lasagnalike casserole. Think of it almost like a pork-based hybrid of Hungarian stuffed cabbage and Greek stuffed grape leaves.

My goal was to turn all those recipes into something that could be made in one large skillet.

I also wanted to create a generous recipe that would use up an entire medium head of cabbage. That way, you wouldn’t have to wonder about what to do with a leftover wedge in the fridge. (My favorite solution: Sliver it up and toss it in with your green salad for crunch.)

A hit of lemon juice and loads of herbs add brightness to this rich, meaty casserole.Credit…Armando Rafael for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

Savoy cabbage, with its ruffled leaves, is the right choice here because it cooks faster than regular green or red cabbage. But any kind will work. Just keep sautéing until it’s very tender before adding the meat.

And here’s a shortcut. If you have about three-quarters of a cup of cooked rice on hand, you can skip a step and add it to the bowl with the pork and herb mixture. But don’t stint on those herbs. The nearly three cups called for may seem excessive, but they add needed complexity and freshness. An herby, garlicky yogurt sauce served on the side also helps brighten things up.

You can make this dish a few days ahead and store it covered in the fridge (still in the skillet if you can spare it). Then reheat it in a 350-degree oven until steaming. This stalwart cabbage casserole even freezes well, should you have any left. But if your home is filled with cabbage lovers, you probably won’t.

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