Layered Cabbage Casserole

1 1/2 pounds ground meat, any kind
6 slices bacon
3/4 cup diced onion
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 can tomato paste
2 cans diced tomatoes, well drained
2 tablespoons minced garlic
6 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 tablespoons dry Italian herb blend (or herbs of your choice)
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6-7 cups of thinly sliced cabbage

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 baking pan and set aside. Heat a large skillet on medium high heat. Add bacon cut into 1/4″ strips to hot skillet and brown until almost crisp. Remove about 2-3 Tablespoons of bacon grease and set aside.

Toss in cabbage (or cabbage mixture) and saute until cabbage begins to wilt. Do not over cook, it needs to be firm. Pour the cabbage into the prepared baking dish and return the skillet to the stove top.

Put the reserved bacon grease back into the skillet. Add ground meat, garlic and onion and continue to cook until all pink is gone and onions are slightly softened.

Reduce heat to low and add tomato paste, diced tomatoes and salt and one tablespoon of the herbs. Cook for about 15 minutes.

While meat is cooking, in a small bowl, combine sour cream, the other tablespoon of herbs and cream cheese. Blend until smooth.

Spread meat over the cabbage layer in the baking dish.

Spread cream cheese mixture over the meat layer.

Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the cream cheese layer and place in preheated oven. Bake for about 20 minutes or until top layer of cheese is bubbly.

Allow to cool slightly before cutting

You can garnish with some chopped parsley or chives. Adding some Parmesan cheese to the cream cheese mixture gives it a little extra cheesy flavor.