GALUMPKI (Gołąbki) (Polish stuffed cabbage)

“Makes a huge mess, it’s a lot of trouble, it takes a long time, it’s a great deal of work – it’s well worth it!”

Ingredients – 
One large or two medium heads of cabbage
2 pounds ground beef  and 1 pound ground pork   (or) 1 pound beef, 1 pound pork, 1 pound veal
2 large onions
1/4 cup of dried mushrooms – hydrated – (To hydrate, boil water; remove water from heat; place mushrooms in water; let sit for ten minutes)
1  package fresh white mushrooms  (15 mushrooms) sliced.
2 cups cooked white rice
1 can of unseasoned tomato sauce
1 can of Campbell’s tomato soup
1 can of unflavored petite diced tomatoes   (14.5 ounces)
Salt,  pepper, garlic powder, (paprika optional)
1 Tbs soy sauce
Sour cream  –   Small container
2 Tbs flour or corn starch for thickening sauce
Water in which cabbage was boiled.

Cabbage Preparation –
Cut slits around core of cabbage to loosen leafs.
Fill a large pot half way with water.
Place head of cabbage in water and bring to a boil.
(Two heads of cabbage require two separate pots)
Cover pot(s) and reduce heat to simmer.
Simmer until cabbage leaves soften.
Outer leaves can be removed with tongs and a knife as they become soft.
Place soft leaves in drainer and continue process until all leaves are removed.
The entire process generally takes approx. 15 minutes.
Set aside cabbage leaves in drainer.
Keep water in which cabbage was boiled.
(Note – Use only medium size cabbage leaves for best results)

Meat Filling –
Chop and gently sauté one large onion in butter.
Slice and sauté white mushrooms and dry mushrooms in butter in a separate pan.
Remove 1/3 of mushrooms and place in Cuisant Art.
Chop until a paste is formed.
Thoroughly mix meat, mushroom paste,  chopped sautéed onion, white rice, salt, pepper, garlic powder, soy sauce by hand in large bowl.

Sauce – Step 1 –
In a large roasting pan place several tbs of butter, one large onion cut in half and then sliced, remaining mushrooms, tomato sauce, soup and canned chopped tomatoes.
Place water from cabbage pot in roasting pan to cover bottom with half inch of water.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Stir ingredients together.

Rolling the Golumpki –
Take individual cabbage leaves from drainer.
Cut out hard core section from every individual leaf.
Place portion of meat mixture on cabbage leaf where hard core section was removed.
Meat amount varies to fit individual leaf.
Fold the sides of the leaf in and roll it up into a little package.
Place each stuffed cabbage seam side down in roasting pan
(Note golumpki can be layered in roasting pan).
Add additional cabbage water to barely cover golumpki.
Cover roaster and bake at 350 – total roasting time 2 hours.

Sauce – Step 2 –
After roasting for one hour and fifteen minutes mix corn starch or flour with 1cup of cold water until dissolved.
Stir gently into golumpki.
Replace cover and continue roasting.
At the one and a half hour point of the roasting process, gently mix sour cream into sauce.
Total oven time – 2 hours covered.

Note – Golumpki cannot be done in a slow cooker; must be cooked in a roaster or oven.
Note – Golumpki are generally better the second day, which makes for convenient preparation the day before serving to family or entertaining guests. 

Note – Golumpki freeze very well for later serving.
Serving tip – Golumpki are traditionally served with boiled potatoes with parsley, mashed potatoes, rye bread and polish cucumbers (recipe below).



A golumbek’s best friend

Ingredients –
Two or three large cucumbers
Four scallions
½ pint sour cream
¼ cup white vinegar
Salt, pepper, pinch of dry or fresh dill, dash of sugar

Step 1 – Dressing
Trim roots of scallion and top two inches of the green part.
Chop remaining white and green parts of scallion into fine pieces.
Mix with all other ingredients except cucumbers to create dressing.
Peel and slice the cucumbers horizontally to create cucumber ovals.
Stir cucumbers into sauce until covered.
Put in refrigerator for at least one hour.
Serve cold.