Saturday, January 14, 2012

Golabki: Stuffed Polish Cabbage Rolls - Jan 5, 2011

This was an inspired meal... inspired by finding a darling little head of savoy cabbage from our CSA hiding in the back of the refrigerator. I was first introduced to stuffed cabbage rolls by Rima, founding Dinner Club member, and amazing cook. In her Lithuanian family, these are called Balandeliais, which means 'little doves.' After doing some research into my own Polish heritage, I found that we Poles call them Golabki, which translates similarly to 'little pigeons.' In fact, almost every Eastern European country has their own version, and you can find many of them listed here. Making these is a really fun process. I did it pretty quickly on a weeknight, but I already had the rice cooked from a previous meal.

The first step involved boiling the whole head of cabbage until the leaves were soft and pliable. I only used about ten leaves, but the rest of the cabbage can be chopped up and used as a bed for the golabkis to rest upon while baking (and is quite delicious served on the side). One thing that helps the leaves become more pliable is shaving down the thick center stem a bit, being careful not to cut through the leaf.

After mixing the rice, cooked onions, raw ground beef, garlic and seasonings together, I placed it on my leaves and rolled them up just like a burrito.

Next, I nestled them all into my Dutch oven, on the aforementioned bed of cabbage. I poured some beef broth over them and let them cook for an hour or so. Nick and I topped ours with sour cream, although depending on which recipe you choose there are different assorted sauces. These were so delicious and so much fun to make. I think we'll be doing these again soon.
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1 comment:

Jaime said...

My mother made a version of stuffed cabbage rolls when I was growing up and she and my father loved them (no surprise, considering both of their eastern European ancestry) but we kids thought they were disgusting. The fact that my mother never made us eat them anyway and instead had the attitude of "more for us then!" makes me think I should probably give them a try now that I'm an adult with more mature taste buds!


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