Golumpki (Beef & Rice Stuffed Cabbage Rolls)

Galumpki or stuffed cabbage rolls are pieces of cabbage stuffed and rolled with a rice and meat filling, normally served in a sweet and spicy or sweet and sour tomato sauce. They are traditional recipe staples in Polish and Jewish cuisine as well as a variety of other European countries. Although I can not pin point exactly which region owns this as “their own” its popular primarily throughout Poland, Germany, Hungary and Austria. I’ve grown up knowing them as popular Pennsylvania Dutch staples, but upon looking through various recipes overseas or in the states the recipe hardly varies from one region to another. Growing up as a kid I ate these, they were definitely on the repeat rotation of typical family foods and I’ve always loved them. To me this is the equivalent of mac n cheese or lasagna. To me stuffed cabbage rolls are  essential comfort food.

As of lately I’ve been really trying to cook more foods that are a bit more comforting and fulfilling for the soul rather than just taking on things on my “up next” list.  I truly want my boys to have things that I loved as a kid. So I figured I would like to tackle these head on and make them a little more complex than all of the ones I’ve had in the past. These really are a throwback to my childhood, glamorous or not they are tasty delights. Ultimately I think I have come up with the very best galumpki and I was very pleased with how well these came out. The sauce was home made fresh with the perfect amount of spice yet still amazing and simple. I made the filling with the perfect blend of meatloaf mix, lean ground beef, rice and various spices. I can definitely say this is a recipe I will be utilizing from now on as my own family golumpki recipe.

Golumpki:

  • 1 large head of green cabbage
  • 2 pounds meat mix, I use a combination of meatloaf mix and ground beef
  • 1 small hoagie roll or kaiser roll (or about 3 or 4 slices of bread)
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 cup cooked chopped bacon
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 2 cups cooked white rice

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 29 ounce can of tomato puree
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare the sauce by combining ingredients and bringing to a boil. Simmer until needed. When ready pour half of the liquid in the bottom of a large rectangular baker.

Prepare cabbage by removing the outer leaves and cutting out the core. Par boil the cabbage for approximately 5 minutes or until tender. You could also freeze the cabbage fully and defrost. Using a knife or scissors cut a V out of the leaf where the hard core is.

Combine meat mixture in a large bowl. Place approximately 1/2 cup of meat mixture in 1 leaf of cabbage. Fold the leaves inward and roll the cabbage around the meat mixture similar in fashion to rolling a burrito or egg roll. Place each rolled golumpki into the pan on top of the sauce. Pour remaining sauce over top of the finished rolls and bake 45 minutes to an hour.

One thought on “Golumpki (Beef & Rice Stuffed Cabbage Rolls)

  1. January 23, 2011 at 6:11 am

    Looks nice and fulfilling and does seem different to other cabbage roll recipes I’ve prepared before. Well heck, ya might as well claim this one as your own family recipe since you devised it!

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