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Gołąbki {Polish Cabbage Rolls}

It’s Secret Recipe Club time again!  I have to say, this month has been my favorite recipe of all I’ve made with the club so far.  I was assigned to Allie’s Clean Plate Club, and I bookmarked a million recipes before I decided on the Gołąbki (pronounced “go-womb-key”), because it’s something I always wanted to make but never have.  In fact, I’ve never eaten Polish cabbage rolls before!  Up until now, I’ve always had the Middle Eastern Cabbage Rolls, which are similar but don’t have the tomato sauce over the top and don’t necessarily include meat.  I have to say, I really prefer these Polish ones!

One of my ultimate comfort foods is meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy.  For some reason, I rarely make or eat it, but it warms my soul when I have a plate of it in front of me.  Well, maybe that’s why I love these cabbage rolls so much.  With the sweet and tangy tomato sauce, they really remind me of little meatloaves!  And I had no idea they would taste anything like meatloaf, but ended up serving them with mashed potatoes on a whim, and I found myself in a state of bliss with my plate of Polish comfort.

Obviously these have a foreign taste to them, not exactly like American meatloaf.  It’s the cinnamon and nutmeg, which isn’t used very often in savory American dishes.  The spices find their way into many foreign ones, however, and the flavor works surprisingly well here in these cabbage rolls.

I know nothing of Polish food except for these rolls, and according to Allie they are very similar to her Polish Grandmother-in-laws authentic gołąbki (although I did change them a bit), but based on them alone I think I like Polish food and am ready to try more!

Gołąbki {Polish Cabbage Rolls}

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 head of cabbage, cored
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
16 oz. tomato sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 cup cooked rice (I used brown)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the entire head of cabbage for 12 to 15 minutes or until tender enough for the leaves to be pulled off and rolled. Drain the cabbage and allow to cool while you prepare the filling and sauce.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the onions about 5 minutes, or until tender and translucent. Add the garlic, cinnamon and nutmeg and cook for 1 minute more. Remove half of the onion mixture to a large bowl. Stir the tomato sauce, brown sugar and vinegar into the skillet with the remaining onion mixture stir together. Simmer over low heat while you prepare the filling and the rolls, stirring occasionally.

Add the ground beef, rice, egg, salt, and pepper to the onion in the bowl and mix with a fork or your hands. On a cutting board, peel off 12 or more cabbage leaves and cut out the hard stem from each leaf in such a way that you end up with two long leafs for rolling. Place about 2 tablespoons of the beef mixture in the middle of each cabbage leaf half and roll up. As you roll them, place them seam side down in a 9×13 baking dish sprayed with oil. Pour sauce on top, cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes or until cooked through.

Makes 20 gołąbki.

Per gołąbek (cabbage roll): 100 calories; 6 g fat; 7 g carbohydrates; 1 g fiber; 5 g protein; 3 Points Plus

Recipe source: adapted from Allie’s Clean Plate Club

Be sure to check out the other Secret Recipe Club members in Group C this month (there are so many members, we’re divided into four groups and I’m in Group C) by clicking on Mr. Linky below.  A big thanks to Angie, our fearless leader! :)



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About Veronica

I have a kitchen addiction and love to collect & share recipes. My passion is baking but I love to cook as well. The only thing I don't like to do in the kitchen is wash dishes, but my husband generally does them for me in exchange for his dinner.

35 responses »

  1. My Italian Smörgåsbord (Aka Barbara)

    they look so yummie! funny, just a few days ago I was thinking of trying to make the Swedish equivalent of these rolls (Koldomar). I just love cabbage and meat!

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  2. I’ve never had these but they look GOOD! Was it hard to keep the filling in the cabbage? Yours look very neat!

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    • No, it was easy, but I think you’re supposed to roll them up like little burritos and I just rolled them with the ends open. My leaves were too skinny after cutting out the hard stem to be able to fold the sides in as I was rolling, but it worked out.

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  3. A dear friend from church just gave us two heads of cabbage and DAYS ago I attempts cabbage rolls for the first time ever! Weird. These look better, though, and I’m excited to try it with the cinn/nutmeg!

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  4. What a fun, delicious looking recipe! I love ethinic cooking, adds so much uniqueness to every day foods, thanks!

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  5. These look super delicious, my mother use to make something like these only I think it was served with a white sauce. Great post!

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  6. Yumm…I love a new (new to me) version of cabbage rolls.

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  7. I grew up eating golabki! My mom would make them about once a month. Her parents both came to America from Poland, and my dad’s family is half Polish also, so we had Polish food every so often. I haven’t had these in years, and have never made them for myself. I’ll have to give this a try. I am certain my mom didn’t put cinnamon and nutmeg in them. They were seasoned beef (seasoned with salt, pepper, and onion, I think) and rice, with the tomato sauce on top. I remember liking them a lot, despite the fact I’m not a big cabbage fan!

    (I also remember my mom giving my brother some money and sending him to the corner fruit and veggie market to buy a cabbage for this dish, and seeing him come home with a lettuce a half hour later! LOL!)

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  8. oooo I’ve never had Polish Cabbage Rolls! I need to try this

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  9. My grandma used to make these and I loved them. Now I want some. People at work freak out when I reheat anything with cabbage for my lunch. I can’t help it, I love potstickers and now I’ll be taking these…lol!! I’ll have to warn them…ha!

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  10. I love how you compared them to meatloaf. They are like cute little meatloaves wrapped up in cabbage. How much more fun is that! I’ve had them several times but I’ve never made them, time to get off my comfort couch and make some.

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  11. What a great SRC choice! They sound delicious.

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  12. YUM!! These are already tugging at my heartstrings . . .or should I say “stomachstrings”? (no . . .that sounds kinda gross =) I had cabbage roll thingies as an appetizer once at an Irish pub about 5 years ago, and I’ve never forgotten them.

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  13. These look wonderful. I can’t wait to try them!

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  14. Laurie VAnderboom

    I will maybe even bring these for fun to Thanksgiving for an appetizer treat!

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  15. As one mashed potato addict to another—-what a great recipe to choose and pair with mashed potatoes. This is an impressive dish. Great SRC post.

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  16. Your rolls look fabulous, great pick!

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  17. I don’t think a year ago I could type the rest of my comment truthfully, but as my kitchen skills have grown, so have my tastebuds, and I really have to get around to taste testing some cabbage rolls! These look yummy.

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  18. Wow, I would have never guessed in a zillion years the proper way to pronounce Golabki! Your cabbage rolls look tasty. I love trying new foods. Now that I know how to pronounce it, I might just try to make it!

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  19. Wow your clicks are lovely Once I made these I did not know they had a name to it, I used the other cabbage, oh! my I can’t get the name, which has much thicker skin than this one is and filled it up with couscous, never posted it as my clicks were horrible :), Now I can give a name and make it vegetarian !, lovely post for SRC

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  20. I picked up a taste for these when I live in Poland for three years, but I have never attempted to make them myself…and now I can. I am fairly certain the ones I had there didn’t have cinnamon and nutmeg in them but I am intrigued by the thought …. and serving them with mashed potatoes is genius!!! Thanks for this recipe!!!

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  21. I’m pretty much a sucker for any savory dish that involves cinnamon and nutmeg. Sign me up for a serving (or three) of this!

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  22. I have eaten cabbage rolls but never with a sauce…I know I would like these! What a great comfort food. I love your SRC choice!

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  23. I don’t think I’ve had cabbage rolls since I was a kid — thanks for reminding me how delicious they are! This recipe looks amazing!

    Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving, Veronica!

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  24. Such a wonderful family meal. You chose a great recipe for the Secret Recipe club. Here is what I cooked up from group C: http://su.pr/1HICCz :)

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  25. These look like the Polish cabbage rolls my grandmother used to make! You did an amazing job!

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  26. I’ve never done any Polish cooking but LOVE cabbage. These look so savory and good. Brilliant to serve them with your mashed potoatoes to sop up some of that beautiful tomato sauce! What a great blog you have and a great blog you were assigned! I am definitely looking forward to trying these! : )

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  27. I love to see the different varieties that people make. I have a similar recipe for Russian golubtsi on my site with ground pork and turkey. The spices you mentioned above sound interesting. These look really tasty and now I’m craving them!

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  28. My mom’s were made with a mixture of ground beef and ground pork. They were delish! (And I am not a big fan of cabbage.)

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  29. Made these today to surprise my wife. She is from Morocco. They make a cabbage roll there, but nothing as tasty as this recipe. Since I am not a great cook, with my family, I thought I needed to double the recipe. I didn’t quite cut the hard center out of the cabbage leaves, put too much tomato sauce in the mix, forgot about the rice until the last minute, etc. When my wife came home from shopping, she sat down and had a taste. It was non-stop from there until she was stuffed (like a cabbage roll). She said I was a great cook. Only because your recipe made it great. Thank you. Happy holidays. (Even my McDonald’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich only teenage son ate three rolls. A new first!)

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  30. Look great!
    I have made these for years since my mom (and grandmother) made them. we pronounce them “ga-lump-kies”. It is great to see a recipe!

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  31. Pingback: Coming soon to a blog near you… « Veronica's Cornucopia

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