Updated: May 4
Golabki, also known as cabbage rolls, is a traditional dish originating in Eastern Europe. It is made up of cooked cabbage leaves that are filled with ground meat and rice or barley, then rolled and simmered in a sweet and sour tomato sauce. They can be served hot or cold depending on preference. This savory take on the classic golabki recipe adds flavor by using caramelized onions, garlic and spices for an extra kick! The combination of flavors will make your golabki stand out from the rest - so don’t miss out on this tasty treat!
For the Filling:
1 lb. ground beef or pork
1 cup cooked white rice or barley
2 tablespoons butter or oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional spices such as paprika, oregano, thyme, etc. (add these to your preference)
For the Dough: - 2 cups all purpose flour - 1 teaspoon baking powder - 2/3 cup water - Pinch of salt
For the Sauce: - 1 can tomato sauce (15 oz.) - 3 tablespoons brown sugar or honey - 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (or alternative) Optional seasonings such as garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, smoked paprika etc. to taste.
Instructions: To begin making Golabki start by prepping your ingredients for the filling. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add in your butter or oil followed by your diced onions and minced garlic cooking until lightly caramelized then add in your ground meat breaking it up with a spoon while cooking until no longer pink stirring occasionally throughout this process adding salt and pepper along with any desired spices like paprika oregano thyme etc.. Once fully cooked transfer contents from pan into bowl then mix together with cooked white rice or barley set aside for later use when rolling golabki.
Making the Filling
Next, it is time to make the filling! Begin by soaking your white rice or barley in cold water for at least an hour before cooking. This will help create a softer texture when mixed with the meat and vegetables. Once the rice has finished soaking, drain off any excess liquid and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine your cooked ground beef or pork with the caramelized onions and garlic, adding salt and pepper to taste as well as any other desired spices like paprika oregano thyme etc.. Mix all of these ingredients together until evenly combined then add in your soaked white rice stirring one final time to ensure everything is properly mixed. Set aside once done so that you can begin forming your golabki.
Now that you have prepped all necessary components of this dish it’s time to start assembling! Take out two bowls - one small and one slightly larger-sized - mix together flour, baking powder, water and salt in the smaller bowl creating a thick dough before transferring onto a lightly floured work surface kneading several times until smooth. Roll out this dough into about 1/4 inch thickness then cut into circles using either a biscuit cutter or drinking glass dipped into flour each time between cuts (this will help prevent sticking). Place approximately 2 tablespoons of prepared filling onto each circle before folding over sealing edges firmly pressing down with fingers making sure there are no air bubbles left inside during this process. Repeat until all of mixture has been used up setting aside completed rolls on parchment paper covered plate while waiting for sauce preparation
To finish off Golabki simmer tomato sauce along with optional seasonings such as garlic powder onion powder cumin smoked paprika etc., brown sugar or honey plus Worcestershire sauce (or alternative) stirring occasionally until fully incorporated simmering on low heat for 10 minutes prior to adding cabbage rolls allowing them cook through completely which should take around 20 minutes total depending on their size returning pot contents back to low heat if needed
Making the Dough
Once all of the ingredients for the dough have been combined, it’s time to knead! This can be done either by hand or with a stand mixer. If kneading by hand, use your hands to press and fold the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Make sure not to over work it as this will make the golabki tougher when cooked. For those using a stand mixer, blend on medium-low speed while gradually adding in remaining flour until desired consistency is reached which should take no more than 5 minutes once all ingredients are added. After this step has been completed roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface into 1/4 inch thickness then cut circles using biscuit cutter or drinking glass dipped in flour each time between cuts before transferring finished rounds onto parchment paper covered plate ready for filling assembly.
Assembling the Golabki Recipe
Once all of the ingredients for the filling have been combined and set aside, it is time to begin assembling your golabki. Start by taking a large cabbage leaf and cutting off any thick veins that may be present on its surface. Place about 2 tablespoons of the prepared filling onto each leaf before rolling up tightly folding in sides as you go along ensuring no air bubbles remain inside during this process. Once rolls are complete arrange them into an oven-safe dish such as a baking pan or Dutch oven making sure they fit snugly together then cover with remaining sauce from earlier simmering stage bringing contents back to boil over medium-high heat before reducing heat to low allowing Golabki cook through completely which should take around 20 minutes total depending on sizes returning pot contents back to low heat if needed while waiting for cooking process completion. After 20 minutes remove golabki from stove top transferring onto plate ready for serving either hot or cold depending on preference!
Making the Sauce
To begin making the sauce for your golabki, start by heating a medium pot over medium heat and adding in tomato sauce. Allow this to simmer for about 5 minutes before stirring in brown sugar or honey plus Worcestershire sauce (or alternative) as well as any desired seasonings like garlic powder onion powder cumin smoked paprika etc., adjusting quantities accordingly to taste. Continue stirring mixture occasionally until fully incorporated then reduce heat allowing contents cook through on low heat for an additional 10 minutes prior to using it cover cabbage rolls during cooking process. Once all of these steps have been completed you can now move on to assembling your golabki!
Cooking the Golabki
To begin prepping your oven for cooking golabki, start by preheating to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with butter or oil then pour in tomato sauce from earlier simmering stage making sure it covers entire bottom of pan before arranging prepared cabbage rolls into it. Once all of the golabki have been placed inside baking dish cover with remaining sauce from earlier stirring occasionally during this process. Place pan into preheated oven and allow contents cook through completely which should take around 20 minutes depending on sizes returning pot contents back to low heat if needed while waiting for cooking process completion.
Once Golabki have finished cooking you can now serve! You can either scoop them onto individual plates or leave them in the baking dish so that everyone may grab one as desired - garnishing with fresh parsley optional but encouraged! Enjoy alongside traditional sides such as mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, and/or boiled egg noodles for a delicious Polish meal perfect any time of year!
Eating golabki can provide a variety of health benefits due to its wholesome ingredients and low-calorie nature. Not only is it a great source of protein, but it also contains essential vitamins such as A, B6, C and K. Additionally, you’ll get a dose of dietary fiber from the cabbage as well as complex carbohydrates from the rice making this an excellent meal for those looking to maintain a balanced diet without sacrificing flavor!
When making golabki at home there are some steps that should always be taken in order to ensure your rolls turn out perfectly each time. First off make sure you are using fresh ingredients when possible - if opting for ground beef try and use grass-fed or organic varieties whenever available since these tend to have more nutrients than conventional brands. Second begin by caramelizing onions before adding them into filling mixture which will create deeper flavors while cooking down any strong onion taste that may still remain after assembly process has been completed. Finally soak white rice in water prior to combining with other ingredients which will help soften texture once cooked resulting in even more tender bites!
Overall golabki is an incredibly versatile dish perfect for any season whether serving up hot during winter months or cold on days where temperatures just don’t seem bearable enough for anything else! With the tips provided here plus some creative experimentation you too can master this traditional Polish recipe bringing smiles all around your dinner table time and time again!