Sunday, April 19, 2009

Gołąbki (Golumpkies)

Originally sent November 1, 2008

Hey all!

A few weeks ago I got a huge craving for golumpkies (Polish stuffed cabbage rolls). I don't know where the craving came from, to be honest, since I've only had them a handful of times in my life. But there it was, a nagging growl in my stomach begging for slightly spicy, seasoned meat rolled in a steamed cabbage leaf covered in a thin tomato sauce... Mmm... Not to mention the fact that they actually came up a couple times in casual conversation recently. Everything seemed to be pointing me in the same direction, so finally I succumbed to the cravings and came up with the following recipe.

For anyone out there who has made golumpkies before, this recipe probably isn't too much different than the one you use. I added a few additional spices, fresh cilantro and replaced the more traditional rice with potatoes, but other than that, I think it's pretty standard.



  • Ground beef
  • Ground turkey
  • Red onion, finely chopped
  • New potatoes, diced
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Chili peppers, finely chopped
  • Garlic, minced
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Black peppercorns
  • Mustard seeds
  • Coriander seeds
  • Salt, optional
  • Egg
  • Savoy cabbage
  • Tomato sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 325° if you plan on making the cabbage rolls immediately
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, turkey, onion, potatoes, cilantro, parsley, chillies and garlic
  3. Combine the red pepper, black peppercorns, mustard seeds, coriander and salt (optional) in a spice grinder and grind into a fine powder
  4. Add the spices to the meat mixture and mix thoroughly with your hands
  5. If you have time, cover this mixture and refrigerate overnight
  6. Core the cabbage and steam it, removing the outer leaves as they become tender
  7. Thin the tomato sauce with water (2 parts sauce to 1 part water is fine)
  8. Pour enough tomato sauce to cover the bottom of a couple glass baking dishes
  9. To make the cabbage rolls, lay a steamed cabbage leaf out on your prep surface so that it naturally curves upward
  10. Place a small, packed portion of the meat mixture at the thick end of the cabbage leaf
  11. Roll the thick end of the leaf up and over the meat
  12. Fold in the sides of the cabbage leaf
  13. Continue rolling the meat mixture toward the leaf tip (if this sounds confusing, there are plenty of pictured illustrations of how to do this online)
  14. Place the cabbage roll seam down into the tomato sauce
  15. Fill the baking dish with cabbage rolls, you can pack them fairly closely together
  16. When a dish is full, grind fresh black pepper over the rolls and cover in a generous layer of tomato sauce (the sauce should cover the rolls about half way)
  17. Bake for 60 - 75 minutes, removing every 30 minutes or so to baste the top of the rolls with tomato sauce
I heard that my great-grandpa made some amazing golumpkies, so this one is for him and our Polish ancestry on my Mom's side.

Peas out!

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