Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are the epitome of comfort food. Pork and beef mixed with rice or barley are nestled in a cabbage leaf and cooked in the oven or on the stove until tender.
Poles call them gołąbki (gaw-WOHMP-kee), which literally means "little pigeons." For Czechs and Slovaks, it's holubky, while Serbs and Croatians refer to them as sarma. Usually, the sauce is what sets them apart.
Check this Quick Tip for an easy way to remove leaves from a cabbage head.
Makes about 18 Polish Cabbage Rolls
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
- 1 whole head cabbage, about 4 pounds
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup beef stock
- Sour cream for garnish (optional)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove core from cabbage. Place whole head in a large pot filled with boiling, salted water. Cover and cook 3 minutes, or until softened enough to pull off individual leaves. You will need about 18 leaves.
- When leaves are cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to cut away the thick center stem from each leaf, without cutting all the way through.
- Chop the remaining cabbage and place it in the bottom of a casserole dish or Dutch oven.
- Saute the chopped onion in butter in a large frying pan until tender, and let it cool.
- Mix cooled onions with beef, pork, rice, garlic, salt and black pepper until well combined. Don't overmix or the meat will become tough.
- Place about 1/2 cup of meat on each cabbage leaf. Roll away from you to encase the meat. Flip the right side of the leaf to the middle, then flip the left side. You will have something that looks like an envelope. Once again, roll away from you to create a neat little roll.
- Place the cabbage rolls on top of the chopped cabbage in the casserole dish or Dutch oven, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper. Pour beef stock over rolls, cover and place in oven. Bake for 1 hour or until cabbage is tender and meat is cooked.
- Serve with pan juices and a drizzle of sour cream, or mix the pan juices with sour cream and ladle it over the cabbage rolls.
- Cabbage rolls freeze well before or after cooking, and can be made in a slow cooker (see your manufacturer's instructions).
Note: Since they can be eaten hot or at room temperature, mini cabbage rolls make great appetizers. Just spear them with a frilled toothpick and you're good to go!