Did you know that Fr. Tony makes some pretty killer cabbage rolls? It’s something he picked up as a young man and has perfected over the years, making them about three times a year — and always for Christmas.
It’s not been without its hurdles. Once, as a new priest, his bubbling pot of cabbage rolls started an oven fire in the kitchen of his parish rectory — TWICE!
Now that he’s learned from this and a few other mistakes, he’s decided to share how he makes them, in this video recorded as he prepared them the week of Christmas 2023. He doesn’t measure anything or write anything down, so we did our best to document each step.
Click here to watch!
And, he’s open to putting on a cabbage roll dinner if there’s interest, so we invite you to watch the video and comment on it if you would be interested!
In two large pots, boil heads of cabbage until soft. When cooked, remove each leaf by cutting with a knife from the stem and carefully laying each leaf aside to cool. The remainder of the cabbage will be chopped into large bite-sized pieces; set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, mix 6 pounds of ground meat, 6 eggs, minced onion, salt and pepper until thoroughly combined. Line a roasting pan with a good sprinkle of caraway seeds.
Using your hands, make a large meatball. Position it in the stem end of a cabbage leaf, tuck in the sides and roll. Layer inside a caraway seed-lined roasting pan.
Slice kielbasa into quarter-inch rounds, and add to roasting pans, tucking in slices around the cabbage rolls to fill the gaps.
Sprinkle on more caraway seeds. Add cut-up cabbage over the top and sides.
Cover with dark brown sugar (about 1 pound across two roasting pans.
Over top, pour tomato juice and enough water to bring the level to about halfway up the sides of the roaster.
Cover and cook at 425 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. Add 1 can of condensed tomato soup to each roaster, mixing carefully with the liquid in the pan and making sure the cabbage is submerged as much as possible. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Return to oven and cook another hour or two, depending on how many layers of cabbage rolls you are making and how quickly the cabbage is becoming tender.
When it’s done, set aside to cool and divide into containers to share! Enjoy!
Note: The cooked cabbage rolls can be placed into a slow cooker on Christmas morning to warm through in time for Christmas dinner.