Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 3: POLAND Golabki "Polish Cabbage Rolls"


Since Joe is half Polish we decided to make tonight Poland night. Joe's Granny and Grandpa are 100% Polish. All of their parents immigrated here from Poland. Making his dad also a 100% Polish American, Making him 50% Polish and 50% Dominican. Yes.... weird mixture I know, but it actually made a very handsome offspring. ;) I can thank Joe's Polish side of the family for his very chiseled, strong jaw. Rawr!! ;)

I talked with Granny and she told me Kocham Cie means I love you in Polish. You can bet your cookies I was telling my kids and hubby this all day. :) Granny speaks polish and often speak Polish/English to us. When she speaks Polish to us we have no idea what she is saying. Thankfully most of the time she translates, unless it's a swear word. ;) She told me Golabki "stuffed cabbage" is traditional meal there so thats what we had tonight. I paired it with kielbasa and pierogis. Also very common dishes in Poland. I thought about making the pierogis from scratch but then I decided one dish I was unfamiliar making was ambitious  enough for me. :) So I had Joe pick some up in the frozen section from the store. You can just saute the kielabasa on the stove with some sliced white onions.

Here is the recipe. We loved it and hope you do too. I recommend cutting this in half.

Makes about 18 Golabki "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

·         1 12 oz can of tomato sauce

·         Sour cream for garnish (optional)


1.    Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2.    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.

3.    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.

4.    Chop the remaining cabbage and place it in the bottom of a casserole dish or Dutch oven.
5.    Sauté the chopped onion in butter in a large frying pan until tender, and let it cool.
6.    Mix cooled onions with beef, pork, rice, garlic, salt and black pepper until well combined. Don't over mix or the meat will become tough.

7.    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. These directions were hard for me to follow. I had to let my Mexican roots kick in and just pretend I was rolling a burrito.

8.    Place the cabbage rolls on top of the chopped cabbage in the casserole dish or Dutch oven, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper.  Mix beef stock and tomato sauce together and over rolls, cover and place in oven. Bake for 1 hour or until cabbage is tender and meat is cooked.

9.    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.

10.  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!

Fun Poland Facts

At dinner Joe shared these fun Polish facts.

1. Poland is the the 9th largest country in Europe.

2. The most popular name for a dog in Poland is Burek which translates to: “brownish-grey color”.

 3. Polish born astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus was the first person to propose that the earth was not the center of the universe.

4. Another Polish astronomer, Johannes Hevelius (1611-1687) published the earliest exact maps of the moon. (Now whoever said Pollock's where dumb better take that back!) ;)

5. Pizza in Poland does not contain tomato sauce. The waiters bring sauce to the table in a pitcher, and you pour it on top. Sometimes the sauce is just ketchup.

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