Farmhouse Recipe

Cabbage rolls - File
Cabbage rolls
— image credit: File

Our grandaughter called two weeks ago, having just come back from a visit to Manitoba to see her new niece for a month, had been exposed to traditional cabbage rolls and perogies and wanted to come and learn how to make them.

It is opportune as many cultures make cabbage rolls for Christmas. You can cook and cool these and freeze them for Christmas or for quick meals with veggies, meat and rice rolled into one.


Cabbage rolls

1 lb. ground pork,

1/2  lb. ground beef (you can vary these with all pork, all beef, ground turkey or no meat at all, but do add a lot of oregeno)

1 cup brown or white, rice ( partially cooked)

1 tsp each salt and pepper and papika.

Saute one chopped onion and 2 cloves garlic in bacon fat if you have or in butter.

Have one head of savoy cabbage, if you can find it, or a regular large cabbage

1 jar of tomato juice and or soup base or boullion.

Put a large pot of water on to boil; add 2 tbsp. vinegar and 2 tbsp.  salt. ( This is if you do not have a soured cabbage head).

Core the cabbage and put into the boiling water, core side down, making sure the water covers the entire head. When the color begins to change, lift out the cabbage with a large fork in the core end and begin to peel off the wilted, leaves into a bowl. Return to water if the leaves do not come off easy and are still raw (careful not to cook too much).

As the leaves cool enough, cut the b’ ‘ridge off the cabbage leaf and put these into your roasting pan along with some bacon strips or some bacon fat.

Mix the raw ground meat with the partially cooked rice, spices and sauteed onions and garlic.

Place one large tablespoon of filling on each leaf and roll up, tucking in the ends carefully to keep the filling in.

Place into the roasting pan tightly together.

When all cabbage rolls are filled, cover 2/3 with water and add tomato juice. You may add boullion to the water or add soup base in place of water.

If you have any small leaves left over they can be put on top.

If I don’t have sour cabbage heads, I put a jar of sauerkraut on top of the cabbage rolls to enhance the flavor.

Cook slowly, at 300’F for 1-2 hours.

Remember to check the fluid level to keep the cabbage rolls almost covered by adding boiling water.

Serve with sour cream or ketchup.

If you double the recipe, you will need to cook for up to 3 hours at the same temperature.

When cool you can package in bags, with liquid and warm as needed.

For any questions or request please email Ellen Lewers at

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Ellen Lewers

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