22 January 2015

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls - Grandma's Golumpkis

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls / www.delightfulrepast.com

Golumpkis or galobkis (or kohlrouladen or holishkes or any other name for stuffed cabbage rolls) are not my traditional English food or Southern food. But I do deviate quite often from the heritage cooking I love. Germany and eastern European countries and cultures all have their own versions. 

My version is the one a very close friend grew up with. She used to make it with her mother, a Russian-born German with maybe some sort of Polish connection. I was very close to her as well and deeply regret that the three of us never quite got around to making these together. 

It's still my heritage cooking in a way, because my closest friends are family to me. Just as I always think of my friend Julia and her mother Mimi whenever I make Mexican Rice, I will always think of dear Elsie (I called her Grandma) whenever I make golumpkis. 

Last month the daughter and I finally got around to it. We started with her mother's recipe written on a card, without too much in the way of directions, and tried to recreate the magic. We even used the pan, a huge enamelware covered roaster, she always used. 

We decided, the first time we made them, that we would always make them together. If you're making a big batch (and you might as well because they freeze beautifully after cooking and cooling), it would take one person a very long time. Besides, as you can probably tell, I'm quite nostalgic in the kitchen; and making Grandma's golumpkis together is a sweet way to remember her. 

The second time around, I suggested replacing the canned diced tomatoes with Muir Glen fire roasted crushed tomatoes, something I use a lot. We loved it and knew Grandma would have, too. We also decided to precook the diced onion and add eggs. 

We resisted our inclination to add herbs and spices. Somehow these nine simple ingredients (and that's counting the water and salt and pepper!) come together in a way that needs no fancying up. 


Stuffed Cabbage Rolls / www.delightfulrepast.com

Grandma's Golumpkis - Stuffed Cabbage Rolls


(Makes about 60 to 66 cabbage rolls, about 20 to 22 servings) 

* Of course, you can make them larger (and fewer), if you like. 

The Cabbage 

2 large heads cabbage 

The Filling 

1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 pounds lean (15% fat) ground beef
3 cups raw long-grain white rice
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper 

The Sauce 

2 28-ounce cans fire roasted crushed tomatoes
4 cups water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper 


1 Fill a large, deep pot with water. Bring to a boil. Core cabbage and set in hot water, one at a time if pot is not big enough for both, until leaves are pliable. Peel the softened outer leaves off and place them in a colander to drain. Return the head(s) of cabbage to the hot water until the next layer of leaves are pliable. Repeat as needed. 

2 Meanwhile, in small skillet, saute chopped onion in oil until softened. Set aside to cool. In large bowl combine cooked and cooled chopped onion, ground beef, rice, eggs, salt and pepper. Mixing lightly with one impeccably clean hand is the easiest way to do it. 

3 In bottom of large roasting pan*, combine half the sauce ingredients. Combine the remaining half in a medium bowl (I use a 2-quart glass measure). 

* I use this Calphalon stainless steel roaster. It's 16x13x4 inches deep, so it can handle this whole recipe in two layers. 

4 As you work with each cabbage leaf, cut away the tough core. Cut very large outer leaves in two. Using a #30 scoop or a 1/8-cup measuring cup, place a scoop of filling on the leaf near the stem-end, fold in the sides and roll (rather like a burrito); no need to tie. Place seam-side down in pan. Toward the end, preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Tip: Do all the scooping at once. Scoop mounds of filling onto a sheet pan. If there’s still filling left after 60 to 66 scoops, divide the remaining filling among the scoops because there won’t be enough cabbage leaves to make more rolls. 

5 Pour the remaining sauce over the cabbage rolls. Cover tightly with heavy-duty foil and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, and continue baking for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

48 comments:

Lulu James said...

Freeze after cooking or after assembling? I am freezing meals for my daughter's family since a new baby is coming--this will be perfect!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Great question, Lulu. I should clarify that in the post. Freeze after cooking. I wouldn't want to freeze them with the raw meat and raw egg. I divide the cooked rolls among a bunch of different containers for freezing: like the the little Corning Petite Pans in the photo, perfect for an individul serving; or a Pyrex loaf pan for two servings in a single layer or four servings in two layers.

bj said...

ummm...these sound and look so good.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, BJ! Super winter comfort food!

Cranberry Morning said...

Oh that does look SO good, Jean! I haven't made stuffed cabbage rolls for far too long!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Judy! It IS a production, so find a friend to team up with and you'll do it more often!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

I don’t think there’s enough catchup in the world to help me swallow cooked cabbage in any form. Kinda like my specious recipe for charbroiled salad – it just strikes my palate as a contradiction in terms. That said, the fact that you’ve made it the “glue” of family means you have failure tested that familial bond to the extreme! So congrats upon the spirit of the thing, if not that limp soggy green leaf that would taste so much better to my jaded tastebuds in its crisp, fresh incarnation. BUT…as always, the hallmark of a great chef is that you make a persuasive case, and if I were to wander off my reservation(s), yours would be the one I would try.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sully, you're a hoot! If you ever decide to get off your reservation, let me know and I'll cook you an entire buffet of things to try!

Richard Sheppard said...

Hummm, here's something new! It does look tasty and carb free too. I'll be making these!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Richard, thanks! Be sure to let me know how they turned out for you.

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef said...

What a beautiful tradition. I love cooking with friends for things that can go in the freezer for an easy transit to the table.

Priscilla - She's Cookin' said...

Oooh, I love halupkis. We have a good friend whose mother makes these every time she visits and they call call them halupkis (they're Polish from Pittsburgh). I checked this comment for typos ;)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Maureen, thank you! It's so satisfying to get a bunch of meals lined up in the freezer for those days when I'm just not feelin' it!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks for checking, Priscilla! ;-) Halupkis? Now I've learned another new word! I looked it up and apparently it is used by others as well, such as Carpatho-Russians and Slovakians. I love learning new words!

Angie Schneider said...

I love cabbage rolls and yours looks so appetizing! I must make some soon. Thanks for sharing, Jean.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Angie, thank you! My husband really loves them, says he could eat them every week.

Jacquelineand.... said...

Oh my goodness, this brings back SO many memories! My Grandma D used this almost exact recipe, the only differences being: 1. She added a bit of beef broth to the tomatoes.
2. She removed the leaves from the cabbage heads, plunked them in boiling water for a few seconds, and then used them to make her rolls... saved having to remove the ribs, etc...
Thank you for the huge smile today!

Linda Kay said...

Jean, those really look yummy. I don't have a cabbage roll recipe among my German recipes. I might just give this a try.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jacqueline, thank you! It's the best kind of compliment to me when I cook something that reminds people of their grandmas!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Linda, that would be wonderful! Do come back and tell me how they turned out for you.

Lynne Rees said...

Golumpkis is such a great word - I want to make them just so I can say it to people! They do look very tasty.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Lynne, I knoooooww! That's just how I feel! But I love eating them, too.

Bonnie said...

Oh how I love a good cabbage roll. Cabbage rolls were not a staple in our southern home, but I remember discovering this dish while traveling with my dad. I'm not for certain if my fondness was due to the cabbage rolls or the time spent with my dad. Whatever the reason, I am thrilled you shared this recipe. Thanks!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Bonnie, thank you so much! I love a sweet father-daughter story like that!

Swathi Iyer said...

cabbage rolls looks delicious Jean.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Swathi! Wish I hadn't already used up my stash!

Pauline Wiles said...

Well, obviously I love the name. But what caught my attention was a winter comfort food which is a little lighter on the carbs. Thank you!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Pauline! I didn't even think of that! But, yes, it is "winter comfort food lighter on the carbs." I like that!

Sippity Sup said...

Baked cabbage is wonderful. Friends wonderful too. All in all a wonderful post. GREG

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Greg! We're getting together in a week or two for another Golumpki Bee (as my husband calls it!).

yummychunklet said...

I have some cabbage, so I'll have to try your grandmother's recipe!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, yummychunklet! Do come back and tell me how you liked it.

Brooks said...

I love this Jean; the recipe and the story behind it. I've been wanting an honest tried-and-true recipe for stuffed cabbage rolls, and yours fits the bill. Thanks for sharing it!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Brooks, thank you so much! I hope you and your family like them as much as we do.

Michelle Nahom said...

These look wonderful Jean! I love stuffed cabbage although I have never made it...I have made grape leaves though and stuffed swiss chard, so I imagine it's not much different. Sending lots of foodie love your way...I'm sorry I didn't get here sooner...you're not on Facebook are you? I keep looking on there for recipes from the party that people want me to share, and I noticed your comment today (*hanging head in shame*). It's been a week. At any rate, I am doing some sharing for you right now! Can't wait to try them!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Michelle, thank you! Yes, stuffed grape leaves are similar. My sister-in-law married into a Middle Eastern family and got started making those long years ago. No, I'm not on Facebook, never have been, never will be. Am I the last holdout on the planet?!

Richard Sheppard said...

I've got this dish baking in the oven right now. Has been in there for 2 hours now and it smells delicious. I had to snack cuz it smells so good. I cut the recipe in half and since I didn't quite have 1.5 lbs of beef, I added a few mushrooms. Also used short grain brown rice cuz that's all we eat in this house. Added a bit of extra water to compensate. Hope that works. Mmmmmm, did I say it smells really good?!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Richard, that is wonderful! Thank you! We're brown rice people, too, but "Grandma" made it with white rice, so that's how we did it. Let me know how you liked it with the brown. We're making it again on Friday, so maybe we'll use brown rice this time.

Richard Sheppard said...

It worked out great! Love it. I ate six of them though and I'm stuffed. Also my wife pulled out the sour cream to top it off. Outstanding!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Six! Richard, I wouldn't need to eat again for a week! I'm sure I'd like the sour cream, but my husband isn't a huge fan. So glad you told me.

ZipZip said...

It's golumpkis tonight for our supper club...we're having chicken paprikash with nokedlis. and cucumbers, too!

Thanks so much for bringing your grandmother's recipe to us,

Natalie

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Natalie! Funny that you're having cucumbers as well -- Grandma often served what she called cucumbers and cream, which was actually sour cream.

Melanie said...

We grew up eating golabkis. My Polish grandmother used ground pork rather than the beef, but the rest of the ingredients are the same. Yummy!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Melanie! I bet they would be really good with ground pork, or maybe even half beef and half pork?

Richard Sheppard said...

I'm making these again tonight. They were even better than I thought they'd be last time!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Richard, that's wonderful to hear! Thanks for letting me know. You just made my day!

Jenne said...

This looks so delicious! Must try!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jenne! I have several meals-for-two of them in my freezer right now!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...