Gołąbki (aka golombki, golumpki, golabki, golumpkies, golumpkis, gluntkes, or gwumpki) are Polish cabbage rolls, stuffed with a mixture of beef, pork, rice, and seasoning. In America, we call them Golmpki and it’s pronounced just like it’s spelled. There’s a lot of questions as to why they are called that. Some say it’s because they’re shaped like a dove or a pigeon. Whatever the reason, they are considered a main course, but also can be served along with other traditional Polish fare– and are a staple at just about any Polish hall throughout Grand Rapids during Pulaski days. Smacznego!
Utensils you’ll need:
- cutting board
- paring knife
- large pot
- Medium bowl
- wooden spoon
- Medium pot
- Wire baking racks
- 1 large green cabbage
- 1-pound lean ground beef
- ½ pound ground pork
- ½ small yellow onion grated
- 4 large garlic cloves grated
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel from 1 lemon
- 1 large egg beaten
- 2 cups of cooked rice
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ small yellow onion grated
- 3 large garlic cloves grated
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Chopped fresh dill (optional)
- Remove the stalk from the bottom of the cabbage head.
- Place the cabbage in a large pot filled with 12 cups of water. Cover and place over high heat.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium. Continue to cook until the cabbage leaves become bright green and pliable, about 3-5 minutes. The leaves should not be limp, they should hold their shape.
- Remove cabbage from water and place on a cutting board until it’s cool enough to handle.
To prepare the filling:
- Combine ground beef, pork, onion, garlic, grated lemon peel, egg, and rice in a large bowl. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Make tomato sauce:
- In a medium pot over medium heat add oil. Once simmering, stir in grated onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Then, add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds. Pour in crushed tomatoes, water, salt, and pepper and increase heat to high. Once bubbling, reduce heat to low and simmer tomatoes for 15 minutes.
Prepare cabbage leaves:
- Give the cabbage a chance to cool, then remove the leaves.
- Using a paring knife, cut the thick stem or membrane from the back of each leaf. Be careful not to cut through the leaf.
Prepare the oven and baking dishes
- Move oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- A 9×13-inch baking dish and a smaller, 2-quart baking dish for this recipe. Spread ¾ cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9×13-inch dish and ½ cup sauce in the bottom of the 2-quart baking dish.
Stuff & Roll
- Place 2 tablespoons of filling on the bottom half of a cabbage leaf.
- Fold up the bottom part of the cabbage leaf.
- Then, fold in the sides.
- Next, roll forward until the cabbage leaf completely covers the filling. Repeat with remaining cabbage leaves and filling.
- Place the stuffed cabbage leaves into prepared pans in neat rows. Pour the remaining sauce evenly over the cabbage rolls.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking.
- Place pans on a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh, chopped dill (optional) and serve.
Recipe by Mary Howing.