Homemade Stuffed Cabbage
…or “Golumpki,” or “Gołąbki,” as others might know it, is what’s on the menu today for this snowstorm! We grew up calling it “Golumpki” because my mother’s family is Polish. This dish brings back a lot of childhood memories for me. I so vividly remember my grandmother and mother making Golumpki for hours in the kitchen and it was always a big deal when it was being made because it’s not the easiest thing to cook. Because it’s kind of difficult and time consuming, our whole family would get together when this was for dinner.
We decided to make Golumpki today because it’s such a great comfort food and who doesn’t love comfort food during a blizzard? The dish slow roasts in the oven for a couple hours and it makes the whole house smell so heavenly.
I hope you enjoy my family’s recipe!
- Large head of cabbage
- 1 c. rice, uncooked (2 c. cooked rice after finished cooking)
- 1 c. onion, diced very small
- 1 stick of butter
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1/2 tbs salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/4 tbs pepper, plus more for sprinkling
- 2-28 oz cans whole tomatoes
- 1-10 oz can tomato soup
- 1/3 c. water
Put the head of cabbage in a large bowl and fill halfway with water. In 10-minute increments, heat the cabbage in the microwave until very tender. This usually takes 30 minutes in the microwave. Once the cabbage is done, set aside in a colander and allow the head to drain and cool.
In the meantime, cook your rice. I make about 1 c. of rice raw, and wind up using 2 c. of it cooked. (I apologize if that’s confusing!) Once the rice is cooked, set aside and allow it to cool.
Sauté the onion in a whole stick of butter. (Yes, a whole stick of butter! This is where a lot of the flavor is going to come from in your dish.) Once the onion is translucent, set aside and allow it to cool.
You want to let the cabbage, rice, and onion cool before proceeding so you don’t burn your hands.
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Once the cabbage, rice, and onion are cool, you can get started on assembling the rolls. Combine the onion and rice in a large bowl with the ground beef. Add the salt and pepper. Set aside.
Remove the leaves of the cabbage. When you get to the middle of the head and the leaves are very small, remove the core but keep the leaves. We like to chop these smaller leaves up and throw them into the pot with the rolls.
Once the cabbage leaves are separated, add some meat into each leaf and roll them up (like a small burrito). The amount of meat in each leaf will vary depending on the size of the leaf, itself. Some leaves will have 1/4 c. meat, and some might have 1/2 c. meat inside. That’s okay.
Lay the stuffed cabbage rolls on the bottom of a dutch oven in layers. (I do grease the bottom of my dutch oven with some cooking spray or butter before laying the rolls down. I have this fear of my food sticking.)
Once one layer is down, hand crush one can of whole tomatoes on top of the rolls. Additionally, add the can of tomato soup and the 1/3 c. water. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the layer.
Continue making more stuffed cabbage rolls and add them on top of the layer already in the pan that is now covered in sauce. Once you make all the rolls, add the cabbage scraps saved from before, and hand crush the other can of tomatoes on top of the layer. Sprinkle more salt and pepper.
Place the dutch oven into the oven and cook for 2 hours. Serve over mashed potatoes and enjoy!