Paprika Pot Roast with Baked Caraway Cabbage. (Photo/Faith Kramer)
Paprika Pot Roast with Baked Caraway Cabbage. (Photo/Faith Kramer)

A hearty, old-school meal: Pot roast and baked cabbage

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Winter makes me crave the hearty, full-flavored foods often favored by Eastern European Jews — such as this Paprika Pot Roast in a rich, slightly spicy sauce accompanied by tender Baked Caraway Cabbage.

Serve with noodles or steamed new potatoes for a tasty Shabbat dinner. Both recipes start on the stovetop but are transformed by their long cooking in the oven. Make both up to three days in advance and reheat, covered, in a 350-degree oven.

Paprika Pot Roast

Serves 8

  • Spice mix (see below)
  • 3 lb. boneless beef chuck roast
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil, plus more if needed
  • 4 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 14½-oz. can diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • ½ cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3 cups carrots (cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 3 cups very small or quartered large cremini mushrooms

Rub all sides of meat with spice mix, reserving leftover. Let meat rest on a plate for 20 to 30 minutes. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat 2 Tbs. oil in a large Dutch oven or other large, oven-proof pot over medium-high heat on stovetop.  Brown meat on all sides. Return to plate. Drizzle more oil in pot, if needed. Sauté onions for 10 minutes until softened, stirring up any browned bits from bottom. Sauté garlic for 2 minutes. Stir in reserved spice mix. Sauté 1 minute. Stir in diced tomatoes with liquid, tomato paste, sugar and broth. Bring to a simmer. Nestle meat into pot and spoon some liquid over top. Turn off heat. Cover (or cover tightly with aluminum foil).

Using oven mitts, transfer the pot into the oven. Cook 1 hour. Flip meat over in pot. Stir in carrots. Cover. Cook 30 minutes. Stir in mushrooms. Cook 90 minutes or until a fork glides easily through the meat. (Timing varies. Cook to tenderness not time.) If pot begins to dry out, add water as needed.

Remove meat from sauce. Cool 20 minutes. Cut into ½-inch slices against the grain. Sauce should be very thick. If it is too loose, simmer until it thickens. If too thick, thin with a little water. Reheat meat in sauce on stovetop or oven. (Make up to 3 days in advance. Store meat and sauce separately in refrigerator. Slice chilled meat and reheat in sauce, covered, in 350-degree oven or stovetop. )

Spice mix: Combine 2 Tbs. paprika, ½ tsp. salt, ½ tsp. ground black pepper, ¼ tsp. garlic powder, ¼ tsp. ground cumin and ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper.

Baked Caraway Cabbage

Serves 8

  • 3 lb. head of green cabbage
  • ¼ cup schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) or vegetable oil
  • 12 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1½ cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ¾ tsp. caraway seeds

Remove cabbage’s outer leaves. Trim root end (do not core). Slice in half from top to root. Quarter each half. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Select a deep, metal baking pan large enough to fit cabbage in a single layer. Place pan over stovetop burner. Heat schmaltz over medium until sizzling. Add cabbage. Brown on cut sides (raising heat if necessary). Rotate cabbage pieces and shift pan (use oven mitts) over the burner for even browning. Loose cabbage leaves are fine. Once cabbage is browned, add garlic and put in broth. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and caraway seeds.

Turn off heat. Cover pan tightly with foil. Transfer hot pan to oven. Bake 1 hour or until a fork glides through the cabbage. Uncover and bake 1 hour until cabbage is well browned and soft. (Timing varies. ) Make up to 3 days in advance. Store, covered, in baking pan. Reheat covered with foil in 350-degree oven.

Faith Kramer
Faith Kramer

Faith Kramer is a Bay Area food writer and the author of “52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen.” Her website is Contact her at [email protected].