Winter makes me crave the hearty, flavorful foods often favored by Eastern European Jews — like this paprika roast in a rich, lightly spiced sauce with tender baked caraway cabbage.

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


Roast with paprika

For 8 people

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

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

Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a large Dutch oven or other large ovenproof saucepan over medium-high heat on the stove. Brown the meat on all sides. Return to the plate. Drizzle more oil into the pan, if needed. Sauté the onions for 10 minutes until softened, stirring the browned bits from the bottom. Sauté the garlic for 2 minutes. Stir in reserved spice blend. Brown for 1 minute. Stir in the diced tomatoes with the liquid, tomato paste, sugar and broth. Bring to a boil. Place the meat in the pot and pour a little liquid on top. Turn off the fire. Cover (or cover tightly with foil).

Using oven mitts, transfer the pan to the oven. Bake 1 hour. Return the meat to the pot. Stir in carrots. Blanket. Bake 30 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms. Bake 90 minutes or until a fork slides easily through the meat. (Time varies. Cook until tender, not time.) If pan begins to dry out, add water as needed.

Remove the meat from the sauce. Cool 20 minutes. Cut into ½ inch slices against the grain. The sauce should be quite thick. If too loose, simmer until thickened. If too thick, dilute with a little water. Reheat the meat in sauce on the stove or in the oven. (Prepare 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 on stovetop.)

Spice mix: Combine 2 tbsp. 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

For 8 people

  • 3 lbs head of green cabbage
  • ¼ cup schmaltz (melted 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 c. caraway seeds

Remove the outer leaves from the cabbage. Cut the root end (do not dig). Cut in half from top to root. Quarter each half. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Select a deep metal baking dish large enough to hold the cabbage in a single layer. Place the pan on the burner of the stove. Heat the schmaltz over medium heat until it sizzles. Add cabbage. Brown on the cut sides (increasing the heat if necessary). Rotate the cabbage pieces and move the pan (use oven mitts) over the burner for even browning. Loose cabbage leaves are good. Once the cabbage is golden, add the garlic and put in the broth. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and caraway seeds.

Turn off the fire. Cover the mold tightly with aluminum foil. Transfer the hot skillet to the oven. Bake 1 hour or until a fork slips through the cabbage. Uncover and cook for 1 hour until the cabbage is golden brown and tender. (Timetable varies.) Make up to 3 days in advance. Store, covered, in an ovenproof dish. Reheat covered with aluminum foil in a 350 degree oven.