Wild Game Recipes: Elk Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Cabbage Rolls

If you like using home-sourced ingredients, this recipe is for you. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)

If you like using home-sourced ingredients, this recipe is for you. It can be made with garden vegetables, wild meat, and home cannery. Though making cabbage rolls takes a bit of time, it’s well worth it when you sit down to dine.

While many cabbage roll recipes use only ground meat this one, adapted from my friend Connie, makes use of steak or roast for a hearty meal. We used both ground elk and elk steak, though most any wild game will excel in this dish.

Elk Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Start to Finish: Varies based on the cooking method


  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes (28-ounces)
  • 1 small can Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 small can tomato sauce (Can substitute home canned/crushed tomatoes)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil to sauté the onions, garlic, and celery until soft. Add the tomatoes — I like to substitute home-canned tomatoes and home-canned salsa instead of store-bought diced tomatoes and Rotel tomatoes. Stir well. For additional zing, add ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes or a few shakes of your preferred hot sauce. Stir well and add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer about 20 minutes. While the sauce cools, get to work on the stuffing:


  • 1-pound ground meat, can use any wild game
  • 1-pound wild game steak or roast, cubed small
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked rice

Brown the ground meat along with the chopped onion. Then, brown the small cubes of steak and drain the fat from both pans. Once cool, mix two cups of cooked rice into the meat. Allow to cool while you prepare the cabbage.

Cabbage Prep

Fill a large pot of water, adding a tablespoon of salt, and bring to a boil. In the meantime, cut the tough core out of the cabbage before placing the head into the boiling water. Cover the kettle and allow it to come back to a boil. Peel the leaves off one at a time until you have 12 to 15 and lay them on a clean towel to dry. Chop the remaining cabbage and add that to the tomato sauce mixture.

Prepare your desired cooking vessel — cabbage rolls can be done in a large baking pan, Dutch oven, or slow cooker. Put a layer of sauce on the bottom before adding the rolls.

Using a sharp filet knife, trim the toughest part of the vein from the base of each cabbage leaf. Place roughly a ½ cup of meat mixture onto each leaf. Roll them, folding the sides under and place them into your pan, seam side down, on the tomato sauce layer. Continue filling and if needed, layer the rolls and add sauce between each layer, reserving enough to cover the top.

For a Dutch oven or covered baking dish, bake at 375-degrees for 90 minutes. If using a slow cooker, run them for roughly 2.5 hours. If it seems to be drying out during cooking time, add a bit of tomato juice or V8.

Cabbage Rolls

(Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)


While this recipe may take some prep time, it’s a recipe that can be made pretty much entirely from garden grown, hunt-harvested, and home-canned ingredients. It can also be frozen and baked later or prepared ahead and taken out to cook in the Dutch oven on a campfire.

We like to serve our cabbage rolls with baby red potatoes, a quickly sautéed vegetable like pea pods or asparagus and a nice hard roll or fresh bread to soak up the sauce.

Latest Reviews

  • Tuck & Carry: CCW in a Skirt

    Aimed at those who want the comfort and convenience of a skirt but with the protection of a holstered gun, the Tuck & Carry occupies what I term apparel holsters -- that is clothing/holster duos.

    Read More
  • The Marlin Dark in .45-70 is Stealthy and Modern

    Flash forward the lever gun of Western lore to the 2020s, where Marlin has taken that classic design and given it a modern upgrade. Meet the Marlin Dark.

    Read More
  • Gear Review: Sig Sauer Tango 6T 1-6

    Sig Sauer has long been a big name in the firearms industry, so it came as no surprise several years ago when Sig filled out its repertoire with its own optics line. Today, we’re looking at the Tango 6T, a 1-6 low power variable optic.

    Read More
  • First Look: Hornady 6mm ARC

    Hornady brought another impressive project to the shooting public in 2020 with the introduction of the 6mm Advanced Rifle Cartridge.

    Read More