Braised Cabbage With Beef
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Braised Cabbage is fairly cheap and easy. That’s probably why it’s a very typical meal for Ukrainian and Russian people. Oh and it’s fairly tasty too! We grew up on this stuff. This is my husband’s cousin’s recipe.
Thank you Angelina for sharing your culinary expertise! It is the same Angelina who shared her fabulous recipe for Easy Bread Kvas. The preparation of the cabbage is slightly different than the Russian Braised Cabbage with Pork that we posted last year. You can also use top sirloin beef in this recipe. The sirloin is better but chuck roast is a cheaper alternative.
Ingredients for Braised cabbage:
2 Medium Cabbage heads
1.5 – 2 lb of chuck roast beef, or top sirloin beef
2 Tbsp of McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 large onion, diced
2 large carrots, grated
1 cup of sauerkraut, well drained
3/4 of a 6oz can of tomato paste
1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1/2 cup water
1 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of pepper
2 bay leaves
6 Tbsp of olive oil
How to Make Braised Cabbage With Beef:
1. Cut beef into small 1/2″ thick chunks, add steak seasoning, place it in a ziploc bag & leave it in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.
2. Once the meat is marinated, thinly shred 1 cabbage (discard the core) and place it in a large pot and cover it with boiling water. Let it stand for 30 min.
3. In the mean time shred the second head of cabbage (discard the core) and place it in a large bowl. Drain 1 cup of sauerkraut and add it to a bowl as well.
4. After 30 min are up, drain the first cabbage and squeeze out excess water. Add it to the bowl with the rest of the cabbage. Mix well.
5. Preheat your skillet to high and add 2-3 Tbsp olive oil. Sear meat on high heat until it’s just browned. Use 2 pans to avoid overloading the pan. If you overload the pan it will cool down and the meat will juice out instead of searing. Add cooked meat to the bowl with cabbage.
6. Add 4 Tbsp of oil to the same large skillet used to cook meat and saute diced onion and grated carrots until soft (about 7-8 min).
7. Once onions and carrots are done, add 3/4 can of tomato paste, 2 Tbsp of heavy cream, 1/2 cup of water, 1 tsp of salt, 1.5 Tbsp of brown sugar and sprinkle with some black pepper. Mix well and let it cook for a few minutes.
8. Place cooked mixture into the bowl with cabbage and mix everything together.
9. Place mixture in to a Dutch Oven or large pot with tight fitting lid and add 2 bay leafs. Cook over medium heat for 25 min, stirring it a couple times. Switch heat to med/low and set a timer for 45 min, stirring it every 15 min.
Serve with bread. And a pickle (of course). What is it with our fascination with pickles and what Russian or Ukrainian person doesn’t have a can of pickles in the fridge at all times?
Braised Cabbage With Beef
- 2 Medium Cabbage heads
- 1.5 - 2 lb of chuck roast beef, or top sirloin beef
- 2-3 Tbsp of McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, grated
- 1 cup of sauerkraut, well drained
- 3/4 of a 6oz can of tomato paste
- 1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp of pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 Tbsp of olive oil
Cut beef into small 1/2" thick chunks, add steak seasoning, place it in a plastic cealed bag & leave it in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.
Once the meat is marinated, thinly shred 1 cabbage (discard the core) and place it in a large pot and cover it with boiling water. Let it stand for 30 min.
In the mean time shred the second head of cabbage (discard the core) and place it in a large bowl. Drain 1 cup of sauerkraut and add it to a bowl as well.
After 30 min are up, drain the first cabbage and squeeze out excess water. Add it to the bowl with the rest of the cabbage. Mix well.
Preheat your skillet to high and add 2-3 tbsp olive oil. Sear meat on high heat until it's just browned. Use 2 pans to avoid overloading the pan. If you overload the pan it will cool down and the meat will juice out instead of searing. Add cooked meat to the bowl with cabbage.
Add 4 Tbsp of oil to the same large skillet used to cook meat and saute diced onion and grated carrots until soft (about 7-8 min).
Once onions and carrots are done, add 3/4 can of tomato paste, 2 tbsp of heavy cream, 1/2 cup of water, 1 tsp of salt, 1.5 Tbsp of brown sugar and sprinkle with some black pepper. Mix well and let it cook for a few minutes.
Place cooked mixture into the bowl with cabbage and mix everything together.
Place mixture in to a Dutch Oven or large pot with tight fitting lid and add 2 bay leafs. Cook over medium heat for 25 min, stirring it a couple times. Switch heat to med/low and set a timer for 45 min, stirring it every 15 min. Remove from hear and serve with bread and a pickle.
Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review
We love this recipe. I do it all in the Dutch oven and use only one head of cabbage since it’s just me and my kiddos. Love your recipes
Thank you, Alexandra! That’s great to hear.
This recipe suffers from lack of specificity. What’s a large carrot? A medium size of cabbage? I did my best but the final mix didn’t fit into my 10 quart Dutch oven for braising. This isnt some tiny cocotte, but the unbraised cabbage overfills and you have no room to stir.
The recipe calls for placing things in bowls only to move the mixture to a Dutch oven in the next step… so why cant i just move it from the skillet to the Dutch oven directly? The recipe calls for more large mixing bowls than I own, especially because I needed bowls for piroshka dough also. I own 4 large mixing bowls.
Hi, make sure you don’t skip the soaking cabbage step. It is a lot of cabbage but it should shrink down quite a bit and should definitely fit a 10 qt dutch oven. The one in the photos is a 6-quart dutch oven that I used. Also, make sure you are using medium-sized heads of cabbage. If you use large ones, you’d probably be ok using just 1 1/2 of them.
Wow. To say the recipe lacks specificity is just weird. Everyone should adjust receipts to fit their own tastes. Some people love carrots, others like beets. Some like a little heat (peppers, curry, etc). Make it your own. Don’t just copy. Jeesh.
Love the recipe… I’ve also switched proteins, Chicken and pork work well to…
So great to hear that your substitutes worked well too! Thanks for sharing that with us.
I have made this several times and it never disappoints. A couple of shortcuts: I don’t bother with precooking some of the cabbage. I use about a 3 lb head, finely sliced (as for cole claw). Also, I cook this in 325º oven for 1.5 – 2 hours, stirring only once. Makes a ton, but leftovers are even better.
Thank you for the great feedback, Larry. Your tips are definitely helpful thanks for sharing them.
Amazing recipe, I’m glad I could find this since I have a bunch of cabbage I’m harvesting from my garden and needed to make something yummy with it, definitely is a plus that it freezes easily! My personal preference is that I cook my beef almost to perfection before I add the cabbage in bc I love my beef extra tender! In step #9 of print out menu “remove from hear” should be “heat”
Thank you Katie! I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe!
What an amazing and healthy dish, thank you!
I made it without the cream to keep it dairy free, and it came out amazing. I did add a drop of vinegar to add a bit of acidity to complement the meat and salty sauerkraut.
Quick question, why does the recipe call for one softened and one raw cabbage? Why not soften (or not) it all?
Hi Daniel, It’s the way I was instructed to make it. 😉 I think it’s to keep the textures more interesting, Otherwise, it might get a little soggy.
My family Really like this recipe but we like it better with no tomato.
I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us!
Thank you for all the wonderful recipes.
I love the bowls in this recipe! Any chance do you remember where you purchased them?
Thank you in advance!
Hi Laura, I’m so glad you are enjoying our recipes. It has been awhile since I purchased those but I believe they were from Cost Plus World Market.
My boys love this dish, as we make it often as part of our Russian Christmas spread to honor their heritage/adoption. My question while I’m getting mentally prepared for another year of cooking, is have you tried this dish in an Instapot to save time? Curious minds, thanks!
I have not but that is a great idea! If you experiment with that I would love to know how you like that!
Could purple cabbage be used?
Yes, purple cabbage can be used as well 😀
Sorry, I just made this and the steak seasoning was a total Sabaka! The cabbage was good, the dough was a pain since it was so wet (i made Пирожок and it was tasty). There has to be more authentic seasoning, garlic and dill maybe? I don’t know but the steak seasoning was bad.
Hi Jeremy, I haven’t had that experience using steak seasoning and I am always happy to help troubleshoot. It’s best to let the beef marinate per the recipe (the longer the marinating time, the richer the flavor). You could add garlic and dill if you prefer – that should still work great.
If I use this recipe as the filling for your savory baked piroshki recipe, will I have lots of filling left over?
Hi Victoria, I never measured how much was leftover but I’m guessing you will have about half or maybe a little less than half left over if you do the full batch of baked piroshki with braised cabbage.
Hi Natasha😊 I absolutely love this cabbage recipe – I have made it on countless occasions and it is FANTASTIC! I was wondering if it might be possible to freeze the leftovers – since my mom and I are the only cabbage lovers in my family, the quantity this recipe makes can be a bit overwhelming! I noticed that your cabbage roll recipe was freezer-friendly – do you think I could do the same with this recipe?
Hi Emily, I haven’t tried freezing this particular recipe but I do think you could freeze portions of this without issues. All of the ingredients are freezer friendly :).
Awesome!! I do plan on using some of the leftovers for piroshki – I’m already so pumped to start cooking! 🙂
This recipe is awesome! It was my first time making anything like this and it came out perfect! Huge hit at our house, even with my mom who can be a tough critic (like a typical Russian mom ha ha). I was wondering though, what is the purpose of soaking cabbage in boiling water?
Thank you for the great review Irina! The purpose of soaking the cabbage helps to remove any bitterness in cabbage, also helps to better fit in the pot.
Made this yesterday and it was delicious ! Thank you for such a yummy recipes 🙂
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
Hey Natasha, We love this recipe. Thank you for sharing it.
Btw where did you get those beautiful ramekins/oven dishes?? They are sooo cute.
You are welcome Julia, I’m glad you like the recipe 😄. I purchased these dishes/ramekins at Cost Plus World Market.
I cooked this one in the same pan (the metal pan you have listed in the beginning) and never transferred it to the Dutch Oven and it turned out beautiful! Full of flavor and taste. I also added some paprika, chili powder, dill and parsley and it turned out awesome! Thank you so much for a great recipe once again! 🙂
Ksenia, I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us and nice job improvising 😀.
Hello from South Africa !
I have a lady-friend in Russia, and when I looked up her town on the internet i came upon some lovely Russian recipes.
I have gone a few times to your site, and am wondering if you have any more recipes that are similar to piroshky, or small pies with meat or other fillings.
Thanks for the YUMMMMMMYrecipes !
Oh yes, absolutely! I have plenty of fried and baked piroshki to choose from 🙂
If I was to put this in the slow cooker would steps 1 through 10 be the same? Thanks! Love your recipes!
Hi Julia, I haven’t tried this one in the slow cooker so I can’t guarantee the results or advise you on how long to slow cook it. Are you planning to cook it in the pot and keep it warm in the slow cooker or just complete steps 1-8 and then slow cook it? Either way would probably work. You may have to stir a couple times if using a slow cooker though so it doesn’t scorch to the sides.
Thanks! Yes I’ll try to cook it in the slow cooker and then leave it to warm. I’ll make sure to stir it often. Thanks for your help!
HI Natasha, I’ve previously made a similar braised cabbage meal in a crock pot -low setting over night, and the cabbage was really overcooked and turned brown, wasn’t too pretty or tasty. Just an fyi.
Planning to try this one soon by the recipe, thanks for all of your hard work!
Thank you for sharing that with me Valentina and you are welcome 😀.
Great recipe! I only used one head of cabbage, which still ended up being quite a lot so I didn’t use all of it, but it came out pretty delicious. Now I have a lot left over for making piroshki with!
Andrew, thank you for the great feedback, and the thought of piroshki with cabbage is mouthwatering :D.
This is excellent. I followed the recipe except for making my own steak seasoning–3 TBs. Meat was marinated overnight, and was not at all over-seasoned as I feared. I also sweated the cabbage down a little, then cooked everything in a 325 oven for 1 hour. Delicious! Re the amount of cabbage, I used 1 1/2 heads totaling about 3 pounds, and I found this amount to be perfect. I think a sour cream garnish would be great with this.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! 🙂 Now I’m craving it too! 😉
I used 2 LBs of “beef for stew” and it took me more than 2 hours to cook it to fork tender. The 45 minutes specified in the recipe was not working for me. I also cut down to 1 head of cabbage, and there was a lot of cabbage.
Hi Meiling, stew meat is usually a tougher cut of meat so it takes longer to cook it. I think you’d have better results with the chuck or sirloin per the recipe. The cabbage shrinks down quite a bit as it cooks and wilts, but you can use less if you want a smaller portion. Cabbage sizes vary widely also – a large cabbage can be the same as 2 smaller ones.
I love your recipes i learned a lot,, thanks to you Miss, Natasha..
Thank you for your sweet comment and you are welcome :).
Is it okay to use the russian style sauerkraut, I have a bunch of it in my fridge and if so, how much would I need to use
Yes, it is ok. Just use the same amount.
Thank you so much 🙂
Hey natasha I was wondering if I can make this braised cabbage without marinating the meat with the seasoning? If yes, then do I need to add salt to the beef ? And do I still need to put it in fridge for 4 hours ?
The steak seasoning gives the meat really good flavor as well as marinating it for at least 4 hours. We used to marinate the meat even overnight for even tastier results. You can marinate for less time and still have a good braised cabbage but you won’t have the same depth of rich flavor that marinating would bring. Also, you definitely at least want to season the meat with salt and pepper or it will be pretty bland.
Hi Natasha! Your website is amazing!!! I am fascinated by the Russian culture and as a self-proclaimed foodie, I’ve been searching everywhere for authentic Russian dishes – I could spend hours looking at all of your recipes! Since this is my first time making this dish, is there any way I could scale it down to serve maybe 3 or 4 people? If I use only one cabbage, do I have to halve the rest of the ingredients, or do I follow the recipe as written? Thanks!!
I would cut everything in half and just follow the recipe. I haven’t tested it with half of the ingredients to tell you the exact times, but every step will go slightly faster and the final cooking time might be 5 minutes less. Enjoy and welcome to the blog! 🙂
Just a random question: do you use this steak seasoning in any other recipes on your blog? just want to know how much of it yo buy 🙂
I don’t use it a lot during winter but tend to use it more during summer months when barbecuing :).
Wow! This was really good! I made it as printed but made the mistake of using the “spicy” Montreal steak seasoning and although we love spicy food, IT.WAS.HOT!! I’m wondering if it got spicier because I marinated it before bedtime and pulled it out of the fridge the next evening as I was preparing the meal? Anyway, in an effort to tone down the heat, I served this over rice and topped with Fage 0% Nonfat Greek Yogurt. The yogurt really helped and the rice stretched the meal even further making it even more economical. Lots of great left overs that were enjoyed with rave reviews! Thank you so much for a filling, satisfying new recipe that will go into our rotation. Oh, almost forgot to mention…once I cooked everything for the first 25 minutes, the meat seemed tough even though it was a nice roast. So I simply put everything in the crock pot and cooked it on low for five hours. That seemed to do the trick…it was sooo tender and moist. Just took a little extra time, but it was well worth the wait.
Cindy, I’m glad you like the recipe and a great job on improvising. Crock pot really does wonders with the meat :).
Cooked this for dinner and it was so good! My girls love anything with cabbage. Even my husband who is not fan of cabbage liked it! Thank you Natasha!
That’s awesome! I’m so glad you all liked it 🙂
Tried this one for the first time tonight — loved it! My husband said it reminded him of a dish his Finnish Grandmother used to make. I didn’t have the seasoning you suggested for the meat, so I made my own concoction of salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic powder and paprika, which worked just fine. Thank you for sharing this — I foresee this will become part of the regular fare at our house!
Thank you for great review and great job on improvising :).
i do it the same way except instead of heavy whip cream i add sour cream. Love this stuff…grew up on it too:)
Oooh sour cream sounds like a nice add-in 🙂
Sooooo good. I made this exactly as written except i cooked it in a covered roasting pan in the oven at 350F for an hour, instead of a dutch oven on top of stove, and it came out perfect. The only reason I cooked it in the roasting pan instead of dutch oven on top of the stove was because my dutch oven would have been so full i know that stirring it every 15 minutes was going to be a pain. Using the roasting pan, i only stirred it once. There was no scorching and no problem with too much juice, as mentioned by other reviewers. The meat (chuck roast) was tender, tender, tender. Thank you Natasha, for posting a fabulous recipe.
That’s awesome to know that it works so well in the oven. I will definitely try that next time. Thank you so much for sharing!
Вкусняшка!!! Спасибо Наталья:)
Yes!! So happy you liked it 🙂
THANK YOU!!!! My fiancé is Ukrainian & I am Black I would like to say first. So needless to mention cultural difference 😉 I made this тушенную капусту с мясом for him and he is very proud as am I smiling from ear to ear eating this delicious dish. Thank you again I look forward to trying new things (for me) in our kitchen.
Awww that’s awesome! I’m so happy you both enjoyed the braised cabbage. Now I’m smiling too 🙂 Thanks Mickca!
I did that last week. Turned out great. 🙂
Made this a couple days ago and it turned out AMAZING! Thank you so much! My husband and brother said it was one of the best тушеная капуста they have every tried 🙂 My extra picky sister-in-law couldn’t get enough of it either. Just a side note, it seems like it makes a ton when you’re preparing all the ingredients, but the cabbage definitely reduces by the end.
Great, you are very welcome Roxanne, this is music to my ears :).
Hi, I want to make this and was wondering if the brown sugar is reeeeally needed. Will the taste be much different without the sugar? I only use stevia as my sweetner. Thanks
You can omit brown sugar, it would still taste great :).
Love this Recipe!!!
I was wondering if I have to soak the meat in cold water a couple of hours
Before marinated it or cooking the meat?
It’s really not necessary for this recipe.
Is there any reason why you only put boiling water over half amount of the cabbage?
It’s the way I was instructed to make it. 😉 I think it’s to keep the textures more interesting, Otherwise it might get a little soggy.
hey! is it ok if i use saurkraut with wine?
I never tried that version before so can’t really turn out. Let me know how it turns out if you give it a try.
Natasha, Thank You so much for this recipe! It is the BEST braised cabbage recipe I’ve ever tried…hands down! I’ve made it about 5 times already…in the past 3 weeks…and I keep getting more requests for it! Thank You!
That’s awesome! And thank you 🙂
This receipe looks great! I have one question, in what part of the store can i find sauerkraut?
Try looking near the pickles and canned vegetables.
Thank you! Awesome receipe…it took me some time to mix it 🙂 was soo much cabbage! It turned out very good!!!
Hi Natasha! How much does this recipe make?
I want to make a small portion for me as I wife and my husband how much can I make?
One medium cabbage makes good dinner for two, plus leftover for one. I hope this helps 🙂
My new last name is actually Dubinets lol
Hi! I just wanted to say thank you for posting this recipe! I spent some time in Russia and this was one of my favorite dishes. I have been searching for this recipe for months and you replicated my memory perfectly!
Welcome to the site Kimberly, I’m so glad that you found what you been looking for 😀
Wow this looks delicious, I’m so excited to make this for my husband, thank you Natasha for sharing this recipe, and I love how you have pictures, that helps me a lot, I love your website and your family is just adorable!
Your comment just reminded me to make this again soon 🙂 my son loves this recipe.
I made it a couple of days ago and it come out Delicious 🙂 Only thing is that I didn’t have a dutch oven so instead i put it in a slow cooker on high for 6 hours.
Thank you Alla. I’m glad that you enjoyed it 😀
I made this like 2 weeks ago and my husband and sister-in-law ate it all right away. They said this was the best braised cabbage they have ever tried. I think the beef and steak seasoning gives it such a good taste. My husband begged me to make it again so here we are looking up the recipe once again 🙂 Thanks!
That’s awesome! Sounds like you may have to memorize it 🙂 although I still look up the majority of my own recipes. 😉
Okay I’ll try next time.. ThankS
So I made this today and it turned pretty good better than my first attempts of making braised cabbage.. I am big fan of braised cabbage. Thank you for such great recipe! However my only question is.. When I was cooking the cabbage I put in regular pot.. I didn’t have like dutch oven and when it was cooking the bottom of the pot started to get burned stuff like a layer of it and I switched pots because I thought I did something wrong like didnt stir it enough but same thing happened again.. So my question is.. Is that normal? Or what do you think I am doing wrong?
If that is the case, you might try to turn the heat down a little; your range may be stronger than mine.
I did that.. But it was still the same.. Did you use dutch oven? Maybe I turned down the heat too late
I was using a Dutch oven. It may be the pot. Does it have a heavy bottom or is it just a thin bottomed pot? I’ve found that a thin-bottomed pot is more likely to scorch the bottom. Turning the heat down should work.
I drained it in a colander and pushed it down to make it dry, meat was seared , i dont know… should i just reduce the watery sauce and pour it back on? seems like a good idea , i dont want to lose the flavor.
That does sound like a good idea or you can just add less water like 1/4 cup instead of 1/2 (or even a little less depending on how juicy your cabbage was)
I just made this and mine is really liquidy, i wonder what i did wrong. The flavors are great but it is just liquidy
Hmmmm did you drain your sauerkraut? Also if you don’t sear your meat on high enough eat it may get too juicy.
I made this today…it turned out wonderful! A teenager said “wow, what kind of meat was is? it was so moist and good”……i marinated it for a night….everyone had seconds….very pleases with this receipt….Thank you for the post!
You are very welcome Angie.
Natasha can you tell me how many servings could i make with portions in this recipe?
I would estimate 8 as a main dish and 12 as a side.
Awesome ideas. Thanks, Natasha 🙂
I am sure that it tastes fantastic!!!
But I was thinking to prepare this for a dinner when we are gonna have some barb-q, so it would be as one of the veggie dish. Do you think it will taste good without beef?
I guess you could make a vegetarian version but it will need to be seasoned more since most of the seasoning was on the beef. Also use beef or chicken broth instead of water. Mushrooms might be a nice substitute instead of meat to add some nice flavor.
I often make a veg version of braised cabbage, especially in the winter! Since I am vegetarian, I don’t use beef or chicken broth. I make sure to season it well with salt, pepper (sometimes just black pepper, other times both black and cayenne, if I want more of a kick), and bay leaves, and a bit of sugar if needed. I also like to throw in a few cloves, like my grandmother did. Sometimes I add smoked paprika – it will fool even meat-eaters into thinking the dish was made with bacon or ham!
Thank’s Irina! I’ll have to try some of your seasoning suggestions next time 🙂
Delicious!!! I love, love cabbage especialy braised. My sister in-law is adding couple tbps. of mayo… Really good.. Will definatly try with cream, sounds delish. Thanks Natashka for wonderful recipe 🙂
Mayo makes everything better! I’ll have to try your tip! Thank you 🙂
Yum I really love braised cabbage especially in pirozki. I love how each person have their own style of cooking. And i enjoy your blog Natasha: wonderful work. God Bless you!
Thank you Lea! Yes everyone makes it a little differently; it keeps things interesting. 🙂
Could I go with out the heavy cream for this recipe? or what could i use instead..
due to milk allergy
Hi Masha, yes you can omit the cream. Just add an extra 1-2 tbsp olive oil.
Thank you =)