Local Love: Rian’s Fatted Calf + Stuffed Cabbage Rolls!


I am SO EXCITED about today’s post. I want to start doing more blog posts on Local Businesses within the Bowling Green community. It is one thing for me to post a photo on Instagram, but writing up a full-page on someone’s personal business seems more exciting to me.

I wanted to start with the local butcher shop in town because for the past few months, the Orthodox Church has abstained from eating meat. During the 40-day fast period of Lent leading up to Pascha, Orthodox Christians are encouraged to focus less on food and more on prayer. Find out more in this post — click HERE!

Along with giving up meat, Orthodox Christians all over the world give up: fish, eggs, dairy, wine, and oil.

Needless to say, after 40-days I’m like “PLEASE GIVE ME ALL THE MEAT!”


And I am not just talking any kind of meat. Just as buying organic vegetables when you can and steering clear of chemical-heavy products, you should also pay attention to what meat you are buying.

When buying meat: choose LOCAL, GRASSFED, & ALL NATURAL whenever possible.

Importance of Grassfed Beef:

  • Better fat quality that contains more Omega-3’s!
  • Contains conjugated linoleic acid (naturally producing trans fat found in grass-fed meat) CLA aids in weight loss, fights cancer, and reduced heart-disease risk!
  • Saves the environment! When you eat grass-fed beef you are reducing the need for factory farming – which is killing our land and wrecking our water supply.
  • The cows are treated more humanely! yayyyyy!
  • No weird hormones or antibiotics…ew.


I recently had the chance to sit down with Steven Bartos, the butcher (along with his father, Rian!) at Rian’s Fatted Calf in Bowling Green. Rian’s Fatted Calf has been a part of the Bowling Green community since 2003 and is run by Rian, Penny, & Steven Bartos.


Rian’s Fatted Calf places a strong emphasis on serving the best type of meat to their customers – and that means providing grass-fed options!

The Fatted Calf Meat Suppliers = Sustainable farms from all over the state of Kentucky!


Buying from the Fatted Calf means so much more than buying trust-worthy meat. When you walk in the shop, you are instantly greeted with smiling faces and a sense of family. Steven told me that it has always been extremely important for their customers to feel appreciated when they walk into the Fatted Calf. The Bartos make it a priority to greet customers by name and serve you or help you with any questions you may have.



One thing I appreciated about Steven when he discussed their family’s business was his honesty. He told me about the pros and cons of being a local business. One of his big pros was the sense of community the shop can bring about. The Fatted Calf also supports the local community by offering items to purchase from several farms and small business. You can purchase anything from vegetables, to breads, to milk and cheeses, to local peanut butter.




If you check out their Facebook reviews (click HERE), you find nothing but love, trust, and honesty from the Bowling Green community.

Thank you Steven for talking to me about your family’s business! As a local person, I appreciate all your family does for the community.

A Few Restaurants in Bowling Green using meat from The Fatted Calf:

Now, I have a special recipe to share with you all using the best quality meat around from The Fatted Calf!


This recipe is a favorite in my household and has been passed down from several generations. My mom’s family is from Serbia so what’s a Serbian household without Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (or Sarma as we like to call it! ?? For this recipe, I picked up ground beef, ground pork, and smoked sausage from Rian’s Fatted Calf!


Sarma! — Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (GF)


  • 2 lb grassfed beef (I got mine from The Fatted Calf!)
  • 1 lb grassfed pork (I got mine from The Fatted Calf!)
  • 1 lb hickory smoked sausage (I used Conecuh from The Fatted Calf!)
  • 1 head of organic cabbage
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 C sauerkraut (add more if you LOVE sauerkraut!)
  • 1 C uncooked basmati rice
  • 1 28 oz can whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • paprika, salt, pepper
  • 2 C 100% tomato juice
  • water (just enough to fill dutch oven to the brim)
  • pack of toothpicks (don’t forget to take them out before you eat!)


  • Boil water in a stock pot
  • Blanch cabbage leaves, set leaves aside once they begin to peel
  • Mince tomatoes in food processor
  • In a large bowl, mix together beef, pork, onion, rice, garlic, paprika salt and pepper (add what feels right to you on the spices – no exact measurements!)
  • Mix together throughly by hand, gradually adding in tomatoes until consistency of meat loaf
  • Layer bottom of dutch oven with sauerkraut and sliced sausage*
  • Spoon generous portion of meat mix into a cabbage leaf, fold, and secure with a toothpick**
  • Add in sliced sausage after each layer of cabbage rolls
  • Add tomato juice and just enough water to fill dutch oven to the brim
  • Top with rest of sliced sausage
  • Sprinkle with more parika and pepper
  • Bake 350 for 2 hours (or until cooked through inside)
  • Enjoy with the ones you love! ❤

*you can cook this recipe in a dutch oven, crockpot, or an electric roaster

**the amount of meat mix in each cabbage leaf will depend on the size of the cabbage

When buying local meat, you aren’t just choosing the best type of meat for you and your family, but you are helping to support a local business and keep a sense of community within your own town.






to find more information on how to find the best grassfed products in Kentucky: