Golabki / Stuffed Cabbage

polish old couple

Golabki (Stuffed cabbage) is a popular dish in Poland. Basically Golabki are white cabbage leaves stuffed with ingredients are like minced meat and rice, with things like onion and mushrooms often added. Generally speaking Gołąbki are served in a tomato sauce.

Here is my mothers usual recipe for Golabki.

1 large white cabbage (2 kg)
1 kg minced meat
200 g rice
100 g butter
chicken stock
2 teaspoons of sugar
1 can of tomatoes
Worcester Sauce (or Maggi seasoning)
3 tablespoons of flour (optional)
3 tablespoons cream 15% (optional)

Instructions to prepare cabbage

In a large pot bring water to the boil, add the cabbage and cook over a low heat until you can easily separate the leaves from the head. We’ve found that it’s best to do this using two forks, being careful not to tear the leaves. Keep the smaller leaves back for use in final stage.

Prepare the filling for stuffed cabbage

Cook rice for approximately 5 minutes so that it is al dente, leave to cool. In a bowl, mix the minced meat and precooked rice. Season with Maggi or Worcester Sauce, salt, and pepper. Form the meat and rice mixture into oblong shapes.

Wrap the golabki

Add a portion of the rice and meat mixture to one cabbage leaf, flattening slightly. Wrap meat and right snuggly in the cabbage leaf, so that it cannot escape!

Cooking the golabki (pigeons!)

Arrange the golabki side by side in a large pan lined with previously reserved smaller cabbage leaves. Dissolve one stock cube in hot water. Add butter, salt and pepper. Pour hot stock broth over cabbage rolls so that the golabki are covered. Add any remaining cabbage leaves on top. Simmer on low heat for around an hour. After this time, when the golabki are ready, add a can of tomatoes, and if you like a sweet taste, add sugar. Cook for another half hour.

If you are not watching your weight too closely, remove golabki from pan, add cream and flour to tomato sauce, mix and cook for a further five minutes. Pour tomato sauce over golabki.

If you are on a diet skip the cream and flour step and just serve immediately.

Serve with chunky bread.


You might also want to try adding some shredded carrots to the sauce, just to add a different texture and taste. If you look closely at the photo you may be able to see we did this when we last cooked golabki.

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