Slavonian Sneaky Casserole - All that's Jas

Slavonian Sneaky Casserole

Slavonian Sneaky Casserole will have you wonder: what in the heck is Slavonian casserole and why is it sneaky? Slavonia is a region in Croatia (Europe) where this recipe is originated from. Hence, I’m bringing you taste of my homeland. But you’re from Bosnia, I hear you say. True, I wasn’t born in Croatia, but both countries belonged to Yugoslavia long before I was born.  For a larger part of my life, and before they separated, that was my home. I still feel equally connected to them all.

Now to the second question: why is it sneaky? You’ll love this…wait for it…there is a whole head of savoy cabbage hiding in this casserole! You wouldn’t be able to find it even if you looked through the magnifier glass. How awesome if you have picky eaters, like my husband. He hates cabbage and is not a fan of polenta, another ingredient in this casserole. Mind you, I wasn’t trying to trick him into eating things he doesn’t like, he’s not five.  But, I also didn’t disclose that information until after he finished his second plate. He liked it so!

Slavonian Sneaky Casserole

If you’re turning up your nose at cabbage or polenta, humor me please and make this casserole once. It might not turn you into a cabbage or polenta lover, but you will love this casserole. I guarantee! The flavor combination is fantastic! Centuries ago, polenta was thought peasant food because it was plentiful and inexpensive and a good winter diet staple when other food was limited. Polenta is low in carbs, rich in vitamin A and C, and high in beta-carotene.

Cabbage provides fiber, vitamins A, C, K, and B6 plus calcium, magnesium, and iron to name a few. With all those health benefits, what’s not to love? And if you do fall in love with polenta, try this vegetarian version of traditional Bosnian polentaI share another polenta recipe in my cookbook, Balkan Comfort Food. See it on the sidebar? Yes, that one with a picture of yummy colorful stuffed peppers. Am I making you hungry yet? Lol. Let’s cook! 

Mouthwatering #casserole packed with hidden #health #benefits to endure those long #winter… Click To Tweet

 

Slavonian Sneaky Casserole - All that's Jas

This post contains affiliate links, meaning I will make a small commission from anything you buy from any post that contains any kind of affiliate link.

Ingredients:
Serves 4-6

For polenta
3 cups water, divided
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 (ca. 1lb) small head savoy cabbage, thinly shredded

For meat sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, coarsely grated
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon fresh or dried parsley plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon fresh or dried basil
1 pinch allspice (optional)
½ cup dry red wine
8 oz. crashed tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

For béchamel sauce:
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of nutmeg
½ cup parmesan cheese

 

Directions:

In a large saucepan bring 2 cups of water and salt to a boil. Add shredded savoy cabbage and simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet; sauté the onions, carrots, and celery until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and seasonings and cook until meat is no longer pink. Mix in wine and tomatoes and cook stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine cornmeal with one cup water until all cornmeal is wet (prevents it from clumping up). Add the wet cornmeal to the pan with cabbage (do not drain the cabbage) and swiftly whisk it to combine. Immediately lower the heat and cook, stirring often, until the mixture thicken, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles, about two minutes. Don’t let it brown. Add the milk and continue to stir until sauce thickens. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Pour polenta (cooked cornmeal) into a greased casserole dish. Add the layer of meat sauce and finish with béchamel sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley.

Bake on 375 degree F preheated oven for 20 minutes. Let cool before serving. Serving suggestion: serve with a cold glass of your favorite beer.

Slavonian Sneaky Casserole - All that's Jas

Slavonian Sneaky Casserole - All that's Jas

Slavonian Sneaky Casserole - All that's Jas

Slavonian Sneaky Casserole - All that's Jas

Slavonian Sneaky Casserole - All that's Jas

Slavonian Sneaky Casserole - All that's Jas

 

Slavonian Sneaky Casserole

Slavonian Sneaky Casserole

Mouthwatering casserole packed with hidden health benefits to endure those long winter months yet light enough to enjoy all summer too!

Ingredients

  • For polenta
  • 3 cups water, divided
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 (ca. 1 lb.) small head savoy cabbage, thinly shredded
  • .
  • For meat sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, coarsely grated
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh or dried parsley plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh or dried basil
  • 1 pinch allspice (optional)
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 8 oz. crashed tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • .
  • For béchamel sauce:
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ cup milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese

Directions

In a large saucepan bring 2 cups of water and salt to a boil. Add shredded savoy cabbage and simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet; sauté the onions, carrots, and celery until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and seasonings and cook until meat is no longer pink. Mix in wine and tomatoes and cook stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine cornmeal with one cup water until all cornmeal is wet (prevents it from clumping up). Add the wet cornmeal to the pan with cabbage (do not drain the cabbage) and swiftly whisk it to combine. Immediately lower the heat and cook, stirring often, until the mixture thicken, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles, about two minutes. Don’t let it brown. Add the milk and continue to stir until sauce thickens. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Pour polenta (cooked cornmeal) into a greased casserole dish. Add the layer of meat sauce and finish with béchamel sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley.

Bake on 375 degree F preheated oven for 20 minutes. Let cool before serving. Serving suggestion: serve with a cold glass of your favorite beer.

http://all-thats-jas.com/2016/10/slavonian-sneaky-casserole.html

 


I’m social. Let’s connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Google+

Follow me

Jas

publisher and creative director at All that's Jas
Jas is a cheesecake addict and the author of Balkan Comfort Food cookbook available on Amazon. You can download a free excerpt of the book when you subscribe to All that's Jas newsletter updates. To learn more about Jas visit her About page.
Follow me

Latest posts by Jas (see all)

Previous Story
Next Story

26 Comment

  1. […] will never trust you again. To get my cabbage-hating husband to eat it, I hid a whole head in a sneaky casserole. He loved […]

  2. […] If you have picky eaters, you can hide vegetables pretty much everywhere. Remember the whole cabbage head I hid from my husband? That was my favorite! And that other way I hid cauliflower from my […]

  3. […] a real magician when it comes to hiding veggies. I’ve snuck a whole cabbage head into this sneaky casserole and no one ever knew. The veggies are not really hidden in these southwestern egg rolls, but they […]

  4. Reply
    Katrin
    October 24, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Jas, what a delicious looking casserole! We love polenta, I just make it and we add a beef sauce to it, but this would be a lovely way to have it! When I was little, my parents and I drove from Germany all the way to then Yugoslavia on summer vacation, we were in Podgora, it was the happiest family vacation we had!
    Katrin recently posted…5 minute Fairy Lights lantern decorMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 24, 2016 at 4:20 pm

      Oh, wow! I like you know even more, ha! I’m so happy you have fond memories from beautiful home-country. And polenta was on our table often back in the days, with all kinds of toppings.

  5. Reply
    Carol, The Red Painted Cottage
    October 21, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    This looks really good, Jas! My husband and I love cabbage.
    Carol, The Red Painted Cottage recently posted…One Room Challenge Fall 2016, Week 3 – Installing The French CleatMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 21, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      Thank you, Carol! I hope you’ll give this recipe a try 🙂

  6. Reply
    Keri
    October 20, 2016 at 8:28 am

    Jas, this looks awesome!! We’re cabbage eaters so I’m definitely going to try this!! Thanks for the recipe!!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 20, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      Thank you, Keri! Hope your day is going great! Thanks for stopping in.

  7. Reply
    Helen at the Lazy Gastronome
    October 19, 2016 at 10:18 am

    This looks really good!! Thanks for sharing on the What’s for Dinner linky

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 19, 2016 at 11:52 am

      Thanks for stopping in!

  8. Reply
    Angie @ ambient wares
    October 18, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    I loooove cabbage and I’m sure I’ll love this! Thanks for sharing with us at Funtastic Friday!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 19, 2016 at 9:15 am

      Thank you, Angie! You won’t regret if you make it 😀

  9. Reply
    Mary-the boondocks blog
    October 18, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Jas, I don’t know about sneaky but I can tell that it has to be delicious. I know that cabbage when cooked becomes sweet and has a really great flavor so I can see where this would be a great dish. I’ll have to try this. And of course the bechamel will just take it to another level. Yum! This has to be really great heartwarming food for the wintertime.
    Mary-the boondocks blog recently posted…Fun and Easy Halloween Vignette – Int’l Bloggers Club ChallengeMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 19, 2016 at 9:17 am

      It is one comfort food for sure! Thanks for stopping in, Mary! Have a wonderful day!

  10. Reply
    Helene
    October 18, 2016 at 9:11 am

    We really love Moussaka. And this looks similar enough that I think I have to give it a try!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 18, 2016 at 11:06 am

      Thank you, Helene! I traditionally make moussaka with layers of potatoes, beef and rice (sometimes I add eggplants too) but this one tastes different. Very yummy in its own way 🙂 Thank you for stopping in. Hope you have a blessed day!

  11. Reply
    Nicole
    October 17, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    This is a very unique casserole recipe! I love cabbage and polenta, so I bet I would be a fan of it. Thank you for sharing the recipe at the #HomeMattersParty this week.
    Nicole recently posted…Chicken Noodle Soup in Bread Bowls (Quick and Easy!)My Profile

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 18, 2016 at 11:07 am

      Thank you, Nicole! You won’t be disappointed, especially that you already love the main ingredients 😀

  12. Reply
    Ann
    October 13, 2016 at 5:39 am

    Aha! Very sneaaaky and I love it! I think I can almost see you smirking when your husband took the 2nd helping. Hehehhehe!

    I like cabbage and my kids not so much – but I’ve snuck up cabbages in their food and they did not even notice it. This gives me another alternative to stuff those good cabbages in their tummy. Any substitute for corn meal? Not that I would sub, I’m just wondering if I could get corn meal..or do you mean corn flour?

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 13, 2016 at 10:52 am

      Yeah, I couldn’t believe my eyes when he went for seconds, haha! Not sure what you could substitute cornmeal with but you should be able to find it there. It’s called maïsmeel in Dutch. And when it’s cooked it is also called polenta. โพเลนต้า in Thai 🙂
      So here, corn starch (or flour as you call it) is really fine and white just like powder sugar and used to bind or thicken sauces and in cakes. Then we have corn flour, which is yellowish and has the texture off all-purpose flour. Then there’s corn meal. You can get it in white or yellow and its texture is grainy, like sand. Hope that helps you getting the right product 🙂

  13. Reply
    Jasna
    October 13, 2016 at 1:27 am

    Sjajno zvuce sastojci, a jos bolje izgleda na tvojim fotkama. Pozdrav za tebe Jas
    Jasna recently posted…Apple and Rhubarb Crumble PieMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 13, 2016 at 10:53 am

      Hvala Jasna! Stvarno je ukus super a nisam bas bila sigurna da ce valjati, haha. Pozdrav i tebi iz jesenje Indiane 🙂

  14. Reply
    Bam's Kitchen
    October 12, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    Now that is rather sneaky and I quite like that!. Always trying to get my family to eat their veggies and cabbage unless it is slaw on an insanely huge cheeseburger is not gong to get a pass. However, your recipe is so unique like I have never tried before hiding under all the layers of the meat and sauces, I don’t think my boys will even notice. Pinning, sharing, smoke signals sent! LOL Take care
    Bam’s Kitchen recently posted…Vegan Ginger Cumin CarrotsMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Jas
      October 13, 2016 at 10:57 am

      Haha, I love the smoke signals! 😀 It’s cooked together with polenta and you can’t even notice it. If you don’t like cornmeal texture, run through the whole mixture a few times with an immersion blender! XOXO

  15. […] apples, and pecans. I have made polenta as a  side dish to accompany stews, even casseroles like Slavonian sneaky casserole. Or, cook it and pour it into a loaf pan, then refrigerate until solid. Cut into thin slices and […]

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

%d bloggers like this: