- 1 large head of green cabbage
- ½ pound ground beef, uncooked
- ½ pound ground pork, uncooked
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large onion, grated (use the juice, too)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 cups cooked rice, cooled
- ½ cup ketchup or chili sauce for the top of the rolls
When I was a little girl, the Polish Club in Fall River, Massachusetts made the best stuffed cabbage rolls and pierogies. On occasion my mom would call my dad and ask him to stop and pick up stuffed cabbage rolls on his way home from work. I remember sitting on our long cozy window seat, anxiously waiting for his car to pull to up in front of the house. (When telling a good friend this story once, she commented “Most girls wait by the window in anticipation of their first date, but you . . . you waited by the window in anticipation of food!” She’s right. I’ll never be thin!)
As my father’s vehicle approached I’d exclaim “Here comes Dad!” A minute later I’d hear the downstairs door open and close and my father’s footsteps ascending up the stairs past my grandmother’s apartment. As soon as our apartment door opened, the aroma of mouth-watering cabbage rolls filled the air. With forks in hand and a bottle of ketchup on the table, Mom and I were ready to dive in!
A couple of decades later, my parents came to visit us in upstate New York. I was newly married and I wanted to surprise them. I created a recipe that tasted just like the cabbage rolls I grew up devouring. I was certain that this thoughtful dinner would bring back joyful memories. Upon entering our townhouse, my mom’s face lit up as she recognized the familiar smell. Dad didn’t say much, but he was always somewhat of a quiet man, and I didn’t give his silence a second thought.
Later that evening, as we sat around the table eating our dinner, I noticed that my dad was eating very slowly, and had not said much about the cabbage rolls.
I asked him if anything was the matter, and he replied, “This dinner was so thoughtful of you, but I have always hated cabbage rolls. I would buy the cabbage rolls for you and mom and pierogies for myself!” I was so embarrassed! But my dad sat there and lovingly ate every bite. What a guy!
If you are like me and have a hankering for Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, but no time to roll them (or you are just plain feeling too lazy), no problem, thanks to my uncle George. This is an easy way to serve up the same flavors, but with a little less time.
1. Cut a deep X in the core of your cabbage. Place the cabbage in a large pot of boiling water. Keep checking on the leaves and use your tongs to separate them as they loosen. Remove onto a plate and continue cooking the rest of the cabbage until all leaves have been separated.
2. In a bowl combine the uncooked ground beef, pork, eggs, grated onion and its juices, Worcestershire sauce, salt, ketchup and cooked cool rice.
3. Place two layers of your blanched cabbage leaves on the bottom of greased a 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Spread your meat and rice filling over the cabbage. Add two more layers of cabbage and a good amount of ketchup or chili sauce on top of the meat filling. Bake the dish in a 350 degree F preheated oven oven for one hour. Let cool slightly, then cut just like lasagna.
I could have kissed Uncle George when he suggested this, but I was in North Carolina and he was in Massachusetts at the time!