Prep 50 mins
Cook 2 hrs
Polish cabbage rolls (filled with a mixture of rice, pork, and beef) stewed in tomatoes. This is a dish I remember my Gram making. I've taken the recipe and tweaked it as I've cooked. The dish is hearty and delicious--and known by other names throughout Eastern Europe. I've made it for friends who have never had Polish food before, and they loved it with a fervor that surprised me. It may look very time intensive, but it's a meal unto itself and can be frozen or reheated easily. It also helps to split it into two main phases: 1) making the meat filling and freezing the cabbage the night before; 2) assembling the golabki. For Polish food, it's surprisingly easy (this is coming from someone who makes her own pierogi from scratch). Enjoy!
- 1 head cabbage
- 2 lbs ground beef (don't use overly lean meat)
- 1 lb ground pork (or veal if you do not eat pork, don't use overly lean meat)
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 2 eggs
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 large onion
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons marjoram
- 1 teaspoon marjoram
- 1 tablespoon thyme (or sage)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 (14 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 (12 ounce) can tomato sauce
- Chop onion.
- Mince garlic.
- Saute garlic and onion in 2 T butter over medium heat until onions are caramelized. Remove from heat and let cool to near room temperature.
- Beat 2 eggs thoroughly with 2 T marjoram, 1 T thyme/sage, salt, and pepper.
- In bowl, add ground beef, pork (or veal), rice, onion, garlic, and eggs.
- Mix thoroughly with your hands.
- Cover and let rest in the fridge. (You can let it sit overnight, it will just let the flavors permeate more.).
- Core cabbage.
- Blanche cabbage leaves in boiling water, peeling them off as they become limp. (Alternatively, after coring the cabbage, you can put it in the freezer and after it's frozen, let it thaw and the leaves will be limp--you can just pull them off. **If you choose to freeze, freeze the cabbage the night before and keep in mind it will take a few hours for it to thaw**).
- Once you've separated all the leaves, take a paring knife and cut off any thick stems preventing the limp leaf from bending/rolling.
- Put about 2 T of meat filling in the center of each leaf. Fold the sides of the leaf in and roll it up into a little package. Put each golabki seam-down into a casserole dish. (At this point, if you like, you can freeze them and thaw them later. Once thawed, continue with the recipe steps below.).
- Once you've used up all the cabbage leaves or meat filling, take your cans of tomatoes and pour them over the golabki.
- Sprinkle the remaining teaspoons of marjoram into the tomato sauce before pouring it over the golabki and tomatoes.
- Bake covered at 350 for 2 hours.
My Grandmother was from Poland and made hers very similar to this recipe. I used 2/3 ground beef, 1/3 ground pork and only 2 large cloves of garlic. I followed the recipe almost exactly as written here but simmered mine on the stove (very large heavy- bottomed pot) covered for about 2 to 21/2 hours as this is the way we have always cooked ours. Any left over meat filling I used to make little meatballs and added into the pot. This was a fantastic recipe. Thank you for posting!
Cabbage rolls were absolutely delicious, found the sauce to be way too acidic, will try without the whole tin of tomato sauce next time. Suggest using the crushed tomatoes with just a bit of tomato sauce mixed in.
Absolutely delicious ! the best I've had. Thank You.