Golabki.. A great food with a bad name.
I think the worst thing about Stuffed Cabbage Rolls is their name... Golabki or Ga-wump-kee as we used to call them. As a kid, I couldn't stand the thought of eating them. I don't think my mom cared; more for her and my father. As an adult, I can't get them often enough. Sadly, the Golabki I've had at church events aren't even close to what my mother made or my own version. I'll repeat myself again... Cooking comes from the heart. If you don't put yourself into every cabbage roll, they taste like boiled ground beef in tomato sauce... YUK! So, here we go, let's make Polish Golabki. What's not to like... ground beef, rice and tomato sauce wrapped in a little cabbage just to keep them slightly healthy (but not much).
Also, please remember, you really can't mess up this recipe. The hardest part is pulling the leaves off the cabbage head. If you like spicy, don't be afraid to add heat or anything else that stirs your imagination.
Let's make Golabki (Stuffed Cabbage Rolls)
1. Cut off bottom of cabbage, remove core, rinse and place in boiling, salted water. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool before touching.
2. If using bacon, dice and cook. Pour off all but 2 tbsp of grease. If not using bacon, try 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil.
3. Add onions and sautee until tender.
4. Add onions, salt and pepper to ground beef. Mix well
5. Cover bottom of Dutch oven with half tomato, water, V8 mixture. It's ok if you want more V8 or other tomato based product. It won't affect the Galabki.
6. Take one leaf at a time, trim large center vein (see photos below)
7. Place one large spoonful of meat mixture on to cabbage leaf, roll and tuck ends.
8. Place roll in Dutch oven, seam down. Continue until bottom is covered then add more tomato mixture.
9. Keep rolling Golabki and forming layers with tomato mixture until finished.
10. Pour remaining Tomato mixture on top of layer Golabki and sprinkle with bacon pieces if you decide to go that direction.
11. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for about 90 minutes.
Serve hot or refrigerate and freeze for another Polish meal.
(Hint, if you like spicey, you might want to consider adding hot peppers to your recipe. I like mine a little on the hot side)
2 cups cooked white rice ( that's 2 cups of rice, 4 cups of water and a pad of butter. Bring water and butter to a boil. Add rice. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes)
1 large onion
1 large head of cabbage
dash of black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 pound ground beef
1 can tomato soup
1 can water (I reduce water and add one can of Spicey V8 Juice. Use your imagination here)
Some recipes call for 6 pieces of well done bacon, chopped to sprinkle on finished Golabki before cooking.
In the photos below, an egg is shown as well as a can of tomato paste. This was an earlier recipe. You can still add those items if you want the meat mixture to be a little more firm and like a heavier tomato sauce with your Golabki. The recipe is not greatly affected if you add or delete those ingredients.