Golabki (Gołąbki)

Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
1 pcs head of cabbage
5 g Lard
Filling
500 g minced beef
300 g minced pork
60 g Rice
1 pcs small onion peeled and finely chopped
3 pcs garlic cloves finely chopped
1 pcs Egg
1 tablespoon Salt
1 teaspoon Parsley chopped
a pinch Black pepper
Tomato Sauce
8 tablespoons Tomato puree
1 teapoon sugar
1 tablespoon Salt
a pinch Black pepper
1.5 -2 l Beef stock
2 tablespoons Oil

Golabki (Gołąbki)

Cuisine:

Golabki is a traditional Polish dish composed of a mixture of slowly cooked minced meat, rice, onions, and spices rolled in cabbage leaves.

  • 180
  • Serves 6
  • Medium

Ingredients

  • Filling

  • Tomato Sauce

Directions

What is Golabki?

The term ‘golabki’ (ga-womp-kee) is a Polish homonym. As you already know, it’s a delicacy. But it’s also a type of bird. Sounds confusing? It confuses some Poles as well, especially those who wonder where the name came from.

If you’re a Polish cuisine buff, you’ve probably realized that golabki (singular golabek) never misses on the list whenever pierogi, schabowy and barszcz are mentioned. Simply put, golabek is the master of Polish delicacies.

Golabki is composed of a mixture of slowly cooked minced meat, rice, onions, and spices rolled in cabbage leaves to create a sumptuous delicacy cherished by the Poles. The meat is majorly based on personal preference; beef, pork, or a mixture of both can be used. The cabbage also can be of any type. What gives it that unique, satisfying taste is the slow cooking process.

How to serve Golabki?

Golabki recipe isn’t that strict. Depending on the people’s culture and seasons, the recipe can vary. For instance, during winter, people will enjoy golabki served on mashed potato covered with rich tomato sauce. In spring, young fresh vegetables and herbs such as dill are also included in the recipe.

In short, every family has its way of preparing this delicacy, and therefore it’s okay to conclude that nobody’s golabki are perfect than others. It’s entirely dependent on personal preferences.

But generally, it is a complete meal on their own, so you wouldn’t need to accompany them with anything else. Some Polish cuisine enthusiasts prefer eating golabki with potatoes, such as the English. But you’ll hardly find a Pole eat golabki with potatoes.

Recipe Origin

Golabki recipe is initially believed to have come from Ukraine. Ukrainians were known for having sophisticated delicacies served during parties and feasts known as ‘holubci’.  These feasts comprised of dishes containing doves stuffed with special items then rolled with cabbage leaves. The Poles then adopted this idea of wrapping stuff in cabbage leaves; holubci was then translated and adopted by the peasants.

These people then replaced the dove with a much cheaper version of meat (minced meat) and added rice (the amount of rice was proportional to how poor the cook was), only retaining the cabbage wrappings.

As you’ve already noticed, it is not only enjoyed by the Poles. Golabki is a delicacy globally, with different cuisines found in various regions including The Levant, Central Europe, Asia, Brazil, and Japan. Yet still, this cuisine also has variants and different names depending on the ingredients.

For instance, they’re called Sarma in Serbia, Croatia, Herzegovina, Turkey, and Bulgaria. The Moldovans and Romanians call them sarmale. In Russia, they’re called golubtsy which translates to little pigeons, just like golabki in Poland.  Ukrainians call their variant Holubtsil while the Slovaks and Czechs call them Holubky.

What brings in the difference is the type of cabbage and meat used in preparing this tasty delicacy and the type of sauce served with it.

For instance, Jews prepare their golabki by wrapping meatballs in cabbage leaves then serving it with a thick cream rather than a sauce. The Germans call an almost similar delicacy kohlrouladen.

Despite these differences, the traditional Polish golabki recipe remains the same and makes this great delicacy a favourite among the Poles.

Steps

1
Done

In a large pot, heat the water, add salt and when it boils, add a head of cabbage. Let it cook for 3-4 minutes until the leaves soften. Take the cabbage out and leave it to cool.

2
Done

In a large bowl, mix the meat, rice, egg, salt, pepper, parsley and garlic until you get a compact mass. You can boil the rice briefly beforehand.

3
Done

When the cabbage has cooled, peel off about 20 leaves, from which you will cut the hard part from the middle. Chop the rest of the cabbage.

4
Done

Depending on the size of the cabbage leaves, put the prepared stuffing and wrap as shown. Make rolls with all the stuffing you have.

5
Done

In a large pot or Dutch oven, coat the bottom with lard, arrange the chopped cabbage and place the cabbage rolls on it.

6
Done

In a small skillet, heat the oil, add the tomato paste, stock (beef or vegetable), salt, pepper and a little sugar. All lightly simmer until you get a compact sauce.

7
Done

Pour the tomato sauce over the cabbage rolls, cover and place in the oven to bake for 2-2.5 hours at 200 degrees.

8
Done

Serve warm with topping, tomato sauce and soured cream and bread.

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