Kålpudding (“Cabbage Pudding”)

“Kålpudding” is a traditional Swedish dish using the same ingredients as cabbage rolls (“kåldolmar”), but instead of wrapping the meat mixture in cabbage you layer it in an oven tray.
Original recipes often calls for rice and/or breadcrumbs to be added to the meat mixture, syrup to be added to the cabbage and is traditionally served with potatoes, brown gravy thickened with wheat flour and lingonberry jam…
…of course we can’t have none of that (we now know better ;) ), so I have made a Paleo/LCHF friendly version of it for you.
I do use a little bit of honey in this recipe though (about 1/2 – 1/4 of the amount of syrup often used), but you can absolutely skip that if it does not fit in your diet.
Also, it’s a big batch…for 6-8 persons depending on appetite.

…now that’s Swedishness on a plate right there. ;)

• 1 lb ground Beef.
• 1 lb ground Pork.
• 1 Onion, minced.
• 1/4 cup cold Water.
• 2 tbsp Beef Stock.
• 1 tbsp Coconut Aminos (or Tamari)
• 1/4 tsp ground Allspice.
• 2 heads of Cabbage.
• 3 tsp Honey.
• ground White Pepper.
• crushed Black Pepper.
• Salt.
• Butter.

How To:
Pre-heat oven to about 400F.

Remove the hard core from the cabbage heads, and then cut the heads in halves.
Cut three of the cabbage head halves in larger pieces (each piece about the size of a stamp) and set aside.
Cut the 4th half in much smaller pieces and set aside separately.

Heat up a frying pan, add a bit of butter and fry the larger pieces in batches (about 1/2 head per batch).
For each batch, season with salt and white pepper while frying and keep frying until the cabbage has turned brown, stirring every once in a while. When it’s got a nice brown color, drizzle 1 tsp honey over it, stir and set aside (make sure the honey does not burn).
When the three batches of larger cabbage pieces are done, do the same for the finely cut cabbage but without the honey, and set aside separately.

Put the ground meat, minced onion, cold water, tamari, beef stock, allspice, and the fried finely chopped cabbage in a bowl. Season with salt and crushed black pepper, and work it thoroughly with your hands until everything is evenly blended into a solid mixture.

Cover the bottom of a large oven tray with half of the fried larger pieces of cabbage, then spread out the meat mixture on top of the cabbage and quite firmly press it with your hands (making one layer of meat that is like a big patty covering the bottom cabbage layer).
Spread out the other half of fried larger pieces of cabbage on top of the meat, and place the tray in the middle of the oven.

It’s done after about 30-40 minutes.

I served this together with a fresh salad and a gravy made by frying 1 finely chopped onion in bacon fat until translucent. Then add a little bit of beef stock, 1 cup smetana and dash of tamari for color. Make it thinner by adding high fat cream until preffered thickness, and season with white pepper to taste.
(Bonus recipe! ;))

That’s it, hope you’ll enjoy! :)

PS. …this “kålpudding” is absolutely both Paleo and LCHF!
The gravy on the other hand, is only LCHF compliant.


19 thoughts on “Kålpudding (“Cabbage Pudding”)

  1. Beauty! I’m a Brit with a fond fascination for Scandinavian cuisine – this is “right up my street”. I’ll be doing this, this week. Many thanks for the inspiration.

    • Wow, that’s so awesome to hear Paul, thanks! :)
      (I’m a big fan of your food…subscribing to the “living in the ice age” rss feed, and been drooling over your amazing photos of equally amazing creations at the Robb Wolf forum countless times! So hearing that I managed to inspire you makes me nothing but happy and proud! :) )

      Please drop a comment on how you liked it, and I really hope I don’t let you down ;)

      (Oh, and make sure to check out the “Dillkött” and “Pepparrotskött” posts for more traditional Swedish inspiration!)

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Paul, really appreciate it!


    • Thanks Russ, glad you think so! :)
      I agree, the cabbage looks really different when being browned and almost kinda sticking together. (Color-wise it’s probably not the most exciting dish in the world though…hahaha ;)

    • Thanks Sofia, that makes me so happy to hear :)

      Exactly…and it’s plenty enough to serve a few people plus being able to save a few rounds in the freezer for those days when you don’t have time or inspiration to cook something! :)

      Thanks for commenting, I really appreciate reading your thoughts!
      Take care :)

  2. I do not quite understand what to do with the fourth batch of more finely shredded cabbage that was set aside seperately, please explain.

    • Hi Judith!

      Thanks for asking and showing interest in this recipe!
      The answer to your question is: You mix it with the meat:

      “Put the ground meat, minced onion, cold water, tamari, beef stock, allspice, and the fried finely chopped cabbage in a bowl. Season with salt and crushed black pepper, and work it thoroughly with your hands until everything is evenly blended into a solid mixture.”

      Hope you’ll like it, and just let me know if there is anything else you wonder about :)

      (oh, and if you do try it out I would be very happy to hear your thoughts on it, so please drop a comment if you have the time!) :)

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  4. This looks really really tasty. I want to try it with the honey, but I’m doing a Whole30 right now, so I’m bookmarking this for later. Yum!!

    • Thank you Alex, that makes me so happy to read! :)
      Yep, I love this dish…and really hope it won’t disappoint you ;)
      Would be really interesting to hear your thoughts on it when you’ve tried it!

      Good luck with the Whole30 too!
      (how far along are you?)

      Take care!

      • I’m only on Day 2 right now, so I’ve got a long way to go! Thanks for wishing me luck! The hardest thing right now is to not accidentally use butter, haha.

        I will definitely give you my review when I do try this out. : )

        • That’s cool, I’ve heard so many good things about the whole30!
          Who knows…might even do a month myself sometime during the fall…thinking crock-pot season would be great for it :)

          Looking forward both to see the review on the “kålpudding” and the results of your whol30! :)

  5. I made this last night. Loved it! I didn’t add the honey, but didn’t find it needed it. The cabbage caramelizes a bit when it’s sauteed in the butter,which gives it some sweetness.
    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I will definitely make it again.

    • Hi Aria!

      That’s awesome, thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts on it!! :)

      The cabbage sure does take on a sweet taste when fried hard, so avoiding honey is absolutely nothing that will break the dish.

      Wish you a great day!

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