Ok, so I’m in the cooking mode this week. Last time I told you about pierogi, now I’m making gołąbki!
Polish Gołąbki are an undisputed classic of Polish cuisine. Quite simple in preparation, it gives you a lot of enjoyment. It is a tasty, light and versatile meal, good for any time of the day.
They are cabbage rolls or stuffed cabbage. It consists of a cabbage leaf in which a filling of rice and meat is placed. The other necessary ingredient is sauce.
The proportions of rice and meat in the stuffing can differ. Most frequently a mushroom or tomato sauce is used to complement the dish.
It should be prepared in sufficient amount, because the filling itself feels rather dry. So for maximum satisfaction you should always have enough sauce for your gołąbki. So, as you have already guessed, the secret of a good Polish gołąbki lies in the fillings and the sauce. Like with pierogi possibilities are numerous. And that’s where the thrill is. Gołąbki are often referred to as “golumpki”, “gwumpki” and other similar names. None of those is correct, but they get close to the Polish pronunciation of the name (pron. go – om – pkee). And, since we mention that, as a matter of fact gołąbki is plural in Polish and literally means “little pigeons”. But don’t worry – that’s just a name.
Here is my recipe for you:
Makes about 16 – 18 gołąbki
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
- 1 whole head cabbage, about 4 pounds
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 1/2 cups cooked white rice
- 2 eggs
- 1 can of crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup of beef stock (you can use plain water with seasoning or vegetable stock as well)
The reason you should mix beef and pork is because beef by itself would get really tough once cooked.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove core from cabbage. Place whole head in a large pot filled with boiling, salted water. Cover and cook 3 minutes, or until softened enough to pull off individual leaves. You will need about 18 leaves.
- When leaves are cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to cut away the thick center stem from each leaf, without cutting all the way through.
- Chop the remaining cabbage and place it in the bottom of a casserole dish.
- Sauté the chopped onion in butter in a large frying pan until tender, and let it cool.
- Mix cooled onions with beef, pork, rice, eggs, salt and black pepper until well combined. You can also add a little bit of crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce to the mix.
- Place about 1/2 cup of meat on each cabbage leaf. Roll away from you to encase the meat. Flip the right side of the leaf to the middle, and then flip the left side. You will have something that looks like an envelope. Once again, roll away from you to create a neat little roll.
- Place the cabbage rolls on top of the chopped cabbage in the casserole dish or Dutch oven, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper. Pour beef stock and tomato sauce (or crushed tomatoes) over rolls, cover and place in oven. Bake for 1 hour or until cabbage is tender and meat is cooked.
- Serve with pan juices and a drizzle of sour cream, or mix the pan juices with sour cream and ladle it over the cabbage rolls.
- Cabbage rolls freeze well before or after cooking, and can be made in a slow cooker (see your manufacturer’s instructions).
Since they can be eaten hot or at room temperature, mini cabbage rolls make great appetizers. Just spear them with a frilled toothpick and you’re good to go!
Also, you can cook them on the stove in a big pan. Just make sure that all gołąbki are covered with the sauce.
I usually served them with mashed potatoes.
Powodzenia i smacznego!
Please let me know how they came out in comments below!
Do następnego razu! (Till next time…)