Caramelized Cabbage Meatloaf

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Caramelized Cabbage MeatloafMy Eastern European grandmother used to make the best cholopshkes. Firm meatballs, each wrapped in buttery cabbage, and braised in an oh-so-1950s ketchup-based sauce. My question is, how did those darn Swedes get hold of Grandma’s recipe? Sure, they replaced the ketchup with lingonberry. Yeah, they shredded and caramelized the cabbage. Okay, they made it into one big casserole. But they can’t fool me. Sneaky Swedes.


  • 4 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ½ head (about 1½ pounds) green cabbage, cored, shredded
  • 1½ tsp salt, divided
  • 1½ Tbsp molasses
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ lb ground veal
  • ½ lb ground pork
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • Lingonberry, cranberry, or pomegranate preserves for serving
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons of butter. When the butter has melted, add onion and sauté for 6-8 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Increase heat to high, and add the cabbage and 1 teaspoon of salt to the skillet. Continue to sauté until all the cabbage has wilted, an additional 6-7 minutes.
  3. Add water and molasses to the skillet. Reduce to the heat to medium-low and simmer for 14-16 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the liquid has mostly evaporated and the cabbage has browned, remove from heat and reserve.
  4. While the cabbage is simmering, in a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine the remaining ingredients, including the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt. This will make a moist, sticky meatloaf mixture.
  5. Using the 1 remaining tablespoon of butter, coat the insides of a baking dish. Place half of the cabbage mixture in an even layer at the bottom of the baking dish. Then, add the meatloaf mixture, pressing down lightly to make it an even layer, and to flatten the cabbage below. Lastly, top with the remaining half of the cabbage mixture.
  6. Transfer the baking dish to the oven and roast for 45-50 minutes, or until the cabbage on top is browned and getting crispy. Remove the kålpudding from the oven and serve hot scoops with a small dollop of the fruit preserves.

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