When I was a little girl, my dad would drive down to the Polish Club in my hometown of Fall River, Massachusetts. I remember my mom and I anxiously awaiting for his car to drive up. Around the corner he would come and we’d watch him walk up to the house…I was giddy! As soon as he opened the door, the house was filled with the incredible aromas of delicious cabbage rolls!

A few years ago, I created this recipe so that it tastes just like the cabbage rolls I grew up enjoying. They are simply wonderful and I’ve been making them ever since! Some years ago, my parents were coming to visit us in Poughkeepsie, New York. I decided to surprise them! I just knew these Cabbage Rolls would bring back happy memories of years past. My mom was thrilled and my dad looked at me and said, “How thoughtful of you, honey, but don’t you remember that I hate cabbage and cabbage hates me? I would buy the Cabbage Rolls as a treat for you and mom!” Needless to say, my dad sat there and lovingly ate every bite without a complaint! Thanks, Dad! :)

We love serving these Cabbage Rolls with homemade Mashed Potatoes! The sauce strategically placed right in the center of the fluffy mashed potatoes…it’s just delicious!

1 large cabbage
½ lb. ground beef, uncooked
½ lb. ground pork, uncooked
2 eggs
1 large onion, grated (use the juice, too)
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. ketchup
½ tsp. pepper
3 c. cooked rice, cooled
Ketchup, chili sauce or my tomato relish (see recipe below) for the top of the rolls

Using a sharp knife, make a deep X in the core of the cabbage. Place cabbage in a large pot of boiling water. Keep checking on the leaves and use your tongs to separate them as they loosen. Remove and continue until all leaves have been separated.

In a bowl combine, uncooked ground beef, pork, eggs, grated onion and its juices, Worcestershire sauce, salt, ketchup and cooked cool rice. Mix ingredients and divide between cabbage leaves, placing in the middle of each leaf. Tuck sides of cabbage in and roll up. Line your 9 x 13-in baking pan with extra cabbage leaves. Place rolls seam side down and add a little ketchup, chili sauce or tomato relish on top. Bake in a 350 degree oven covered for 1 hour.

Tomato Relish

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and finely diced

1/2 of a green bell pepper, optional–adds a little more color and another depth of flavor

2 tomatoes, halved, seeded, and finely diced
A handful of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 (12-ounce) bottle of chili sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Coat a skillet with oil and place over medium heat. Saute the onion, garlic, and bay leaves for a few minutes. Do not allow the garlic to burn or it will be bitter. Add the red and green peppers and cook them for a couple of minutes to soften. Now add the tomatoes; adding them at this point lets them hold their shape. Stir in the parsley, chili sauce, and Worcestershire; season with salt and pepper. Simmer the relish for 5 minutes to pull all the flavors together. Remove it from the heat; you should have about 4 cups of relish.