Payne’s Pantry: Cabbage, Tomatoes, and Beef from my Grandma

Published 10:27 am Wednesday, March 14, 2018

By Anne Payne

Cabbage, Tomatoes, and Beef are considered staples of life by some, especially my Grandma Mullins, my mother’s mom, Tennie Anna (Hill) Mullins of Gainesville, Missouri in the Ozarks.  Grandma was always upset that I would not even try cabbage, so I made this dish for the first time the other day and loved it.  I cannot believe I never tried it previously.


Equipment needed:

1 large pot, 1 large cooking spoon, 1 small skillet, 1 good slicing knife,

1 medium cooking pan with lid for rice, can opener



1 1/2 lbs extra lean ground beef

1 head cabbage

2-14.5 oz cans petite diced tomatoes in its own juice

1 stick butter

2 cups cooked instant rice (white or wild, depending upon taste preference)

1-16 oz. pkg. Compari Tomatoes on the Vine from produce dept.

1-15 oz. can crushed tomatoes OR 1 can Rotel

1 sml pkg frozen chopped onions

1 sml pkg frozen chopped green peppers

Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and celery salt to taste preference


Brown meat in large pot.  No need to drain if meat is extra lean.  Melt butter in a skillet.  Add chopped onions and chopped peppers to butter and saute until tender.  Then, add to meat mixture.  Next, add both cans diced tomatoes with juice and the can of crushed tomatoes OR Rotel tomatoes.  It is now time to remove the core from the cabbage, throwing away the core.  Chop the cabbage and fresh Compari tomatoes into small pieces and add to meat mixture.  Add spices as you desire to season pot.  Simmer and steam covered so cabbage will cook, stirring and watching pot often.  Finally, stir in cooked rice of choice after cabbage completely soft and wilted.  You now have Grandma’s dish.  This is just good ole’ Ozark cooking from my late grandma, God bless her.  She would have turned 122 years old on Feb. 4.  She passed a few days after her 80th birthday in Feb. 1976, just 19 days after my grandfather, Napoleon Bonaparte Mullins, originally of Mountain Home, Arkansas.  They were my Scotch-Irish grandparents.