Monday, December 19, 2011

Polish Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Grandma

This is one of those traditional Polish meals that has to be made in certain pots or pans.  You know what I mean don't you?  Certain things HAVE to be cooked in certain pots.  I think that's part of why it tastes so good - but mostly because its tradition and cooked with love.  There are sooo many names for stuffed cabbage.  Golabki, Holubki...as long as it has an "ki" at the end, it all boils down to stuffed cabbage - Eastern European cooking.  We always called it "gawumpki".  From start to finish it takes about an hour to prepare and 3 hours to simmer or bake.  Tastes better the next day and freezes beautifully. Every family has there own version - this is how I remember my mom making them.


You will need:
  • 1 large head of cabbage
  • 1-1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. paprika (or to taste)
  • 1 - 28 oz. can whole tomatoes with juice
  • 2 cans condensed tomato soup
Parboil cabbage in a large pot of simmering water, cutting leaves against the core and pull them off into the water and cook until pliable; about 5 minutes.

Let leaves cool slightly.

With a sharp knife, cut the thick membrane or stem off the back of each leaf, being careful not to cut through the leaf.  Lay the leaf down flat and keep your knife horizontal to slice off the thick part of the leaf.
Continue simmering the cabbage and removing leaves.
Any leaves that cannot be used at the end, reserve for later.
Reserve cooking water (yes, we are being very frugal here!)

Prepare Filling:
 
Saute onions in 4 Tbsp. butter until golden.
Cook 1 cup of rice in 1 cup of water with 1 tsp. salt for about 7-8 minutes.  Just parboil the rice.
Mix ground meats with sauteed onions and add rice.  Add Worcestershire, salt and pepper and paprika.  Add cooled rice and beaten eggs and mix well.  Hands come in handy.
Now we can roll:
Depending how big the leaves are, place about 1/2 cup of filling towards the end of the cabbage leaf.
Roll leaf up and over meat, fold in both sides and continue to roll into a bundle.

Arrange stuffed cabbage snugly in the pot.
Add any leftover cabbage leaves to the bottom of the pot.
If there is any meat leftover, just form them into meatballs and add to the pot. 




Mix the blended tomatoes with 2 cups reserved cooking liquid from the cabbage.  Mix the tomato soup as directed.  Pour the tomato sauce over the cabbage.  Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer.  Simmer, covered 2 to 2-1/2 hours.  If you want to bake them, bake at 325 degrees F. covered, for the same amount of time

Get Grandma's Sauerkraut recipe here!
You can add sauerkraut to this recipe.

Grandma always served her stuffed cabbage rolls with home made mashed potatoes, adding the liquid from the stuffed cabbage rolls to the potatoes! YUMM!



23 comments:

  1. Wow, I know I'd love these! This is the first I've heard of adding sauerkraut, very different:@)

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  2. This looks so good! I bet I could eat a ton of these :) Will bookmark to try this recipe, thanks!

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  3. Another polish girl right here! This looks great, and almost exactly like how we make ours! Im so proud of my family's polish recipes. And.......we call it gawumpki too! :)

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  4. I have been enjoying reading your blog as I am also Polish, and many of the recipes are things I remember my grandma making. I haven't tackled her recipe for pierogi though! My cabbage rolls are very similar to yours except for the zaprashka- I've never heard of that. My mom would take the small cabbage leaves and chop them up and layer them with sauerkraut and bake them. I love the cabbage/sauerkraut served over a bed of mashed potatoes- yummy!

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  5. THE LITHUANIAN NAME FOR STUFFED CABBAGE AS BEST AS I CAN REMEMBER WAS KAPUSTI(sp?).
    MY GRANDMOTHER MADE THESE AND THE WHOLE FAMILY LOVED THEM.
    P.S.SHE DID NOT ADD SAUERKRAUT!

    I ALSO SAY VERY UMMMMMMY INDEED.
    I MISS MY GRANDMOTHER EVEN MORE THAN I MISS HER KAPUSTI AND THAT SAYS A LOT BUT I WILL NEVER FORGET EITHER ONE!!!

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  6. Greetings! My mother was Polish, and she'd make these. I've tried them myself but they are not as good as my Mom's were. :) I will have to try your "Zaprashka" - I never heard of that! Did you ever hear the word (and this is NOT the correct spelling) "Opruzhetch" ??? which was a word my mother used when she was like "braising" something. If you have (and you know how to spell it!), please email me, I'd love to hear from you!
    Best,
    Gloria
    gloria(dot)vincent(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  7. p.s. Are you on Pinterest? I'd love to pin this recipe on there, or re-pin from you! Thanks!
    gv

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  8. I am alone now & reminiscing about the wonderful tastes and aromas created in my mother's kitchen. Wished I spent more time with her to learn more about her soups, breads, pierogi, honey cakes, poppy seed baking and yes, golumpki (there's a squiggly across the l which makes is "w" sound) but this keyboard is strictly English. She lined and covered her cabbage rolls with large outer cabbage leaves. Though she emigrated from Poland when she was 13, she was a far superior cook to her mother. Enjoyed your page. I will try your recipe, though I try to steer away from fat. And, if your mother or grandmother is still living, spend more time in the kitchen with them! Wanda

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  9. My grandma (Booshie) was Ukrainian. She made Kapusta ( sauerkraut rinsed and boiled,then squeezed out. Fried pieces of bacon, leaving the grease & add the kraut & brown sugar. Stir & enjoy!! She never added the kraut to the halupshe (spelling?) cabbage rolls. Good memories....

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  10. I always make mine stuffed with lamb and in a sweet-and-sour tomato sauce but your gravy sounds incredible! I'll have to make another bath up soon.

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  11. This is the best and most thorough recipe I've ever found.I love how you suggest to trim the cabbage vein,...not cut it out.
    We like it with a little drizzling of Heinz ketchup glazing the top of the casserole baked dish.
    Thank you! Donna Klimek

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  12. roux (which is called zapraska in Slovak, jíška in Czech, zasmazka in Polish, rántás in Hungarian and Mehlschwitze in German

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  13. roux - which is called zapraska in Slovak, jíška in Czech, zasmazka in Polish, rántás in Hungarian and Mehlschwitze in German

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  14. I make these all the time, the REAL Polish way. There is no way in hell that Polish people would add Worcestershire sauce to "Gołąbki" (ewww!). However, we do add diced mushrooms, crushed garlic, and tiny minced pieces of pickles (yes! pickles!) to the meat and rice filling, along with the onions already mentioned. Also, NEVER , EVER Tomato soup for sauce (ewww again!). We take fresh tomatoes, condensed tomato paste and mix them with 1/2 can of chicken broth (or hot water with chicken bouillon) + 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and at the end, we thicken the sauce with SOUR CREAM, and also season very heavily with chopped DILL and with pepper.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment Paulina. Every family has their own recipe. I like the idea of adding the chicken broth to the sauce!

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    2. We all have wonderful memories of our Polish Grandmothers, the right taste, smell, etc. I wonder if my lovely grandmother was still here if she wouldn't go ahead and use the pre-canned tomato soup! She worked very hard and to know of a little convenience item may intrigue her! And my Grandmother would never add mushrooms and pickles. Yay for your memories. Yay for mine! Thanks for sharing this recipe Patricia. I will add my own 2014 ingredients and I'm sure my Mother and Grandmother would approve! My Grandmother was from Krakow, my Mother was first generation American.

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  15. For novices to this recipe you can see Jenny Jones (yes, the former TV talk show host is Polish and speaks it too!) actually rolling the cabbage rolls using a variation of a golabki recipe. And Patricia Stagich, you are right! EVERY Polish family has their own versions of this recipe.

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  16. I'm definitely making this tonight...I may tweak it based on the comments. I'm very excited. Thanks for the very detailed recipe!

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    Replies
    1. Recipes are for tweaking! No one says you have to follow every ingredient! Make it your own!

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  17. Finally a recipe that doesn't cook the rice first. Thank you! My Grandma never cooked the rice and she told me to use medium grain for a more tender roll

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    Replies
    1. Thank you John! I'm going to try the medium grain rice next time I make them! It always helps to get little hints here and there from Grandma! xo

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