One of the very many things my mother taught me in the kitchen is how to make Stuffed Cabbage (Gołąbki). I changed the recipe slightly over my adult years, the technique, however, remained the same.
It takes some practice to master Stuffed Cabbage, but once you get a feel for it, the second time will be easier, and the third time will be simply a walk in the park.
My Mom always made Gołąbki with pork because that’s what was readily available. Yes, we had a farm and raised beef, but somehow beef was not very popular. We had veal once in a while, but pork was definitely the meat of choice. My Mom also used COOKED rice. I found out later in life that pre-cooking rice is totally unnecessary. If you add enough liquid to cook your Stuffed Cabbage and cook it long enough, the rice will cook IN the Stuffed Cabbage. In addition, my Mom made few layers of Gołąbki in a large pot and cooked it on stove top. As a result, the bottom layer would sometimes burn. I arrange my Gołąbki in one layer in a deep baking pan (disposable, for an easy clean-up:)), and bake it in the oven for even cooking.
Both of my kids absolutely LOVE Gołąbki (ɡɔˈwɔmpki). And that is how they say it. When they were in preschool, they didn’t know that Gołąbki was Stuffed Cabbage. When asked what their favorite food was, both of them said Gołąbki. That answer had to be written on a project, so the teachers had to contact me and ask how to spell Gołąbki:)
I am so happy my kids chose Gołąbki over chicken nuggets or pizza!
Stuffed Cabbage (Gołąbki) is a complete meal on its own. Meat, rice and cabbage in one bite. As an added bonus, I top my Stuffed Cabbage with sliced carrots. What else do you need on your plate? Well, the sauce is so good that you MUST have your Italian spoon to gather every bit of this liquid gold.
It is so totally unnecessary, but I do sin sometimes serving Stuffed Cabbage with smashed potatoes. Just because of the sauce. The sauce over smashed potatoes sprinkled with some fresh dill… Yum! But like I said, you don’t need rice AND potatoes on one plate!:)
I will leave that up to YOU though…
As Always, Eat Well, Spend Wisely!
- 1 cabbage
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 lbs ground beef
- 1 onion, grated
- 3 garlic cloves, grated
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic salt (with parsley)
- 4 large carrots
- 4 cups hot cabbage water
- 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp marjoram
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup half and half
- Grate onion and garlic on box grater.
- Add meat, uncooked rice, eggs, parsley, garlic salt, salt and pepper and mix well with your hands.
- Fill large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add 1 tbsp oil.
- Submerge cabbage head in boiling water, cover and cook for 2 minutes.
- Stick a big fork in the cabbage core and take cabbage out onto a big bowl.
- Cut outer leaves with a knife and pull them away gently so they fall off.
- Return cabbage head into boiling water, cover and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Repeat cutting off leaves until you get to the white part of the cabbage and you think the leaves are way too small.
- With paring knife, slice off the thick parts of cabbage leaves.
- Stuff cabbage leaves with meat and wrap like burritos.
- Arrange cabbage rolls in a single layer, tightly, in a deep baking pan.
- Peel 4 large carrots and slice them small. Scatter them on top of cabbage rolls.
- Mix 4 cups of hot cabbage water with 4 tbsp tomato paste, 1 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp marjoram and 1/2 tsp pepper and pour that mixture over cabbage rolls.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 2 hours at 375 F.
- Take it out of oven and let it stand for 5 minutes.
- Pour 1/4 cup of half and half over cooked, hot stuffed cabbage. Pick up the pan and gently rock it so the cream mixes in with the hot sauce.
- You can serve stuffed cabbage by itself, with bread or mashed potatoes.