Layered casserole with beef, cabbage and potato

Cooking is my love language. When I prepare a meal for family and friends it’s like I’m giving them a BIG HUG.

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My good friend Lori is soon moving to another state with her family. Her husband was recently relocated down south.  For our last evening together Lori asked me to make her favorite dish of mine. 

My one condition was that I get to cook in her newly finished kitchen. I made a layered casserole with beef, cabbage and potato dish. I got the recipe from Lidia Bastianich. This dish is always a crowd favorite. It's very easy to prepare and can be assembled the day prior to cooking. Once you make this dish you will be asked to make it over and over again!


  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ¼ cup fresh rosemary leaves, stripped from the branch
  • ⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1½ tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 pounds red potatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 4 pound boneless beef shoulder roast
  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 head Savoy cabbage, about 2 1/2 pounds, cored and sliced
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 1 pound fontina cheese, shredded


  • Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven, and heat to 425 degrees F. Using a food processor, mince the sage, rosemary, garlic, 1/4 cup of the olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt into a fine-textured pestata.
  • Put the potato slices in a large bowl; sprinkle on top 1 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 tablespoon of the pestata. Toss well to coat the slices with the seasonings.
  • With a sharp knife, slice the beef across the grain into 3/4-inch- thick slices-if using a top-blade roast, slice it crosswise. As you did with the potatoes, put the meat slices in a bowl and toss them with seasonings until well coated, using 1 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of the pestata.
  • Brush the roasting pan with the remaining olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Arrange half of the potato slices in a single layer on the pan bottom, spread half the cabbage shreds evenly over the potatoes, and season with 1 teaspoon salt. Distribute all the beef slices, in a single layer, over the cabbage. (The pan should be about half full: press down on the beef if it looks like you need more room for the rest of the vegetables.)
  • Dot the top of the beef with small mounds of butter. Lay the remaining potato slices on top of the beef slices, spread the rest of the cabbage evenly over the slices, and season with the remaining teaspoon salt. Stir all of the remaining pestata into the white wine, and pour the wine all over the cabbage shreds. Finally, dot the top with the rest of the butter.
  • Tent the baking dish with a sheet of aluminum foil, arching it above the food and pressing it against the sides of the pan. Set the dish in the oven, and bake about 21/2 hours, until the meat and vegetables are all very tender and almost all of the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Remove the foil, and sprinkle the shredded fontina over the top of the potatoes and cabbage (which will have sunk down in the pan). Bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until the fontina has melted, bubbled, and browned into a crusty topping.
  • Let the casserole rest for 10 minutes. Set the roasting pan on a trivet at the table, and serve family- style, spooned onto dinner plates