Today’s #SundaySupper topic is fitting for Father’s Day, Man Food! I asked my husband what I should post, and what does he say? Not steak, not brats, not bacon. Nope, piggies. Huh? “That’s not man food!” I tell him, but he’s dead set on it. Okay, fine, I tell him, “Then you can make them and write the post.” He also took all of the photos except one. I have broken my own rule with this post, that I would never post anything I don’t truly like to eat myself. I don’t like cabbage, and I think the sauce he makes for these is too sweet (but you’ll have to be the judge, he just says that’s a difference in taste). Whenever he makes them, he makes me what he calls “porcupines” instead. I will eat those, so I guess it’s more I just can’t get over all that cabbage than I don’t like them.
I’ll turn you over to my husband now, for his very first guest post for me, but before I go, don’t forget to check out all of the other recipes that were shared today, listed below, and grab the printable version of the recipe I have placed at the bottom of the post. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, grandpas, step-dads, and soon-to-be dads!
In Northeast PA, as the offspring of “coal crackers”, we normally call these cabbage rolls “piggies”. Although, they are know by many names (golabki, golumpki, holubki, pigs in a blanket). There aren’t many guys I know that don’t enjoy them.
Polish lore has it that the strength derived from of this hearty meal helped King Casimir IV Jagiello’s (Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland)army defeat the Teutonic Order in a key battle of the Thirteen Years’ War. As my heritage includes both Polish and Lithuanian (and some German from my Father’s side), these were always a meal I remember my Grandmother (on my Mother’s side) making and as a child, I was allowed to mix the meat. As for the “Coal Miner” part of the recipe name, her husband (obviously my Grandfather) was a coalminer in Ashley, PA and died from black lung before my parents were even married, my Grandmother passed when I was twelve. Later in life, when I asked my Mother about the recipe for these, I was given the “some of this and some of that”shpiel without any real measurements. Her and my Grandmother did a lot of their cooking by taste and feel. So this recipe is inspired by my Grandmother’s piggies and has passed my Mother’s taste test. These are definitely a Sunday (or Saturday) meal as there is a fair amount of prep work involved (1 to 2 hours – depending how fast you are) but, to me it is worth it.
1 head of cabbage (you’ll boil off 12 to 15 leaves – based upon the size of the head)
1 ¾ lbs of ground beef
¾ lbs of ground pork
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup minute rice (uncooked)
2 large green peppers
2 large onions (3 if they are smaller)
3 stalks of celery
2 16 oz cans of diced petite tomatoes
32 oz tomato juice
½ cup sugar
¾ cup maple syrup
6 to 7 slices of bacon (depending upon how many piggies you end up with)
Remove the core (stem) from the head of cabbage with a long thin knife.
Boil head until a leaf separates from the head and remove from the pot with tongs.
Remove the thick stem from the back of leaf by cutting around it in a “V” shape, this will make it easier to roll the leaf around the meat.
Repeat this process until you have 12 to 15 leaves.
Shred remaining cabbage, this will be used later.
In a mixing bowl, add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, eggs, and uncooked rice and mix.
Mince the green peppers, onions and celery and mix together.
Add about ½ to ¾ of the vegetable mixture to the meat mixture, add the rest to the shredded cabbage.
Open the cans of diced tomatoes, place in a mixing bowl and mix in sugar.
Prepare the pan by making a bed of the the cabbage/vegetable mixture.
Here is the tricky part, making the rolls. It will take a little bit of “feel”, the rolls should be about the size of a fist or just smaller (depending upon the size of your fist and the size of the leaf).
Make an elongated meatball and wrap in a cabbage leaf (place the meat at the bottom of the leaf, overlapping the slice that was made to remove the thick stem and roll about halfway (one turn), then tuck the edges of the leaf in and continue to tip of leaf). It is kind of like rolling a burrito but I think rolling the cabbage is easier -I tend to rip tortillas.
Place the roll place in the pan. Repeat for all leaves (remember measuring how much meat is in each leaf is based upon the size of the leaf – each one is an individual).
For those that aren’t huge fans of cabbage, or if you run out of leaves, you can make a “naked piggies”. Just make big meatballs and place them in the pan, my Mom calls these “porcupines”. Another derivation would be stuffing the mix in green peppers. You can mix and match however you like…
Pour diced tomato mixture over the piggies.
Add tomato juice to fill pans to just over halfway.
Place bacon strips over piggies (one slice should cover two) and drizzle the maple syrup over the bacon.
Cover pans with tin foil.
Place in oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Remove tin foil and cook for additional 15 minutes to brown bacon.
Plate and drizzle some of the juice and shredded cabbage over them. These are usually served with bread (to mop up the juice) and mashed potatoes (also with some of the juice added over them – like gravy). Smacznego!!! Skanaus!!!!
- 1 head of cabbage
- 1 ¾ lbs of ground beef
- ¾ lbs of ground pork
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup minute rice (uncooked)
- 2 large green peppers
- 2 large onions (3 if they are smaller)
- 3 stalks of celery
- 2 16 oz cans of diced petite tomatoes
- 32 oz tomato juice
- ½ cup sugar
- ¾ cup maple syrup
- 6 to 7 slices of bacon
- Remove the core (stem) from the head of cabbage with a long thin knife.Boil head until a leaf separates from the head and remove from the pot with tongs.
- Remove the thick stem from the back of leaf by cutting around it in a “V” shape, repeat this process until you have 12 to 15 leaves.Shred remaining cabbage.
- In a mixing bowl, add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, eggs, and uncooked rice and mix. Mince the green peppers, onions and celery and mix together. Add about ½ to ¾ of the vegetable mixture to the meat mixture, add the rest to the shredded cabbage. Pour the diced tomatoes into a bowl and stir in sugar. .
- Prepare the pan by making a bed of the the cabbage/vegetable mixture.
- Make an elongated meatball and wrap in a cabbage leaf (place the meat at the bottom of the leaf, overlapping the slice that was made to remove the thick stem and roll about halfway (one turn), then tuck the edges of the leaf in and continue to tip of leaf. Place the roll place in the pan. Repeat for all leaves (remember measuring how much meat is in each leaf is based upon the size of the leaf - each one is an individual).
- Pour diced tomato mixture over the piggies.Add tomato juice to fill pans to just over halfway.
- Place bacon strips over piggies (one slice should cover two) and drizzle the maple syrup over the bacon. Cover pans with tin foil.
- Place in oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove tin foil and cook for additional 15 minutes to brown bacon.
- Plate and drizzle some of the juice and shredded cabbage over them. These are usually served with bread (to mop up the juice) and mashed potatoes (also with some of the juice added over them - like gravy).
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