Cabbage Rolls

When I married into my husband’s family, my last name changed from Irish origins to a name that hails from Slovakia. Luckily for me, along with this new name came some new food traditions.

Cabbage Rolls were lovingly called “pigs” in my husband’s inner circle. He too had a grandmother who could throw her weight around in the kitchen and she would make huge pots of these cabbage rolls for her entire family.

This is a traditional dish for my husband’s family, though I am not sure if it has been Americanized since his grandmother moved to the United States with her husband before she started having children in the 1940’s. Nevertheless, we all think it is wonderful and we make huge pots of it now when there are family get-togethers and celebrations.

Though I never got to meet my husband’s grandmother, I do feel as though I know a little about her through the traditional dishes that we keep in rotation, celebrating the unique life and heritage of the ones  that came before us and made us who we are. Enjoy everyone!

Cabbage Rolls

Cabbage Rolls
Cabbage Rolls

2lbs ground beef

1 lb pork

1 egg

2-3 cups cooked rice

1/2 cup diced onion

3 cloves garlic

Big cabbage head




2-3 TBSP Vinegar

1 (46 fl oz.) V8

Cut core out of head of cabbage and shave tops of harder stems. Blanch cabbage leaves to make them pliable.

Mix together the meats, egg, rice, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika.

In big pot, place a layer of cabbage leaves on bottom.Start making Cabbage Rolls as shown in diagram and layer in pot. Add V8 and vinegar.

Add water just to cover top layer of rolls. Bring pot to a simmer for 3-4 hours.

Cabbage Roll Image
Cabbage Roll Image

16 thoughts on “Cabbage Rolls

  1. Pigs are popular with my relatives. My grandmother, mother, aunts all make them and call them pigs! I like mine with a lot of red sauce. You did a great job rolling them! Looks delish!

      1. Yes, his family called them pigs in the blanket too and shortened it to pigs, which is okay since my family makes an appetizer called pigs in the blanket that is totally different and would get confusing in our family cook book.

  2. What a delicious site! My friend taught me to freeze the cabbage first. It eliminates the need to blanch! Love cabbage rolls.

  3. Cabbage rolls is one off our Swedish national dishes – we call them “Kåldolmar” and they come original from Turkey. My mum’s do the best.

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