Golumbpki (Cabbage Rolls)

Happy Valentines Day, Cookers!! Or Sunday. Whatever it is in your world.

I’m cozied up with my babe, enjoying some logs and laughter. I know I’ve been inconsistent about showing up here, but I’m doing what I need to do right now, and I’m enjoying life immensely. I’m coming to the end of yoga school with just a little over 50 hours of book work and labs, plus my 20 hours of teaching. It’s intense and I took a break from it from Christmas until mid-January.

Anyhoooo…lets just talk food for today. Nothing deep. I’m in a light-hearted and loving mood. This recipe is a gift. Love you.

These sweet and tangy cabbage rolls are a huge favorite of mine and although I don’t always enjoy the process; the result is worth the labor.

It’s a cold Sunday here in Michigan. I’m planning my recipe for Fat Tuesday and when I got out the rice to start that, I was inspired for these.

The sauce is what makes them special. It’s an old school Polish recipe that includes traditional ingredients, and also incorporates golden raisins for a really unique texture and sweetness. I was going to omit them when I first tried the recipe because it just seemed odd, but I’m no chicken shit. I stuck to tradition and I’ve never gone back. No raisins in the pantry. No golumbpki in the oven.

Here is a look at the finished product. Just to demonstrate how amazing the sauce is.

You can serve these alone, with a salad, with mashed potatoes or whatever sounds good. I usually serve them with pierogi because I’m an “all in” kind of gal.

Now, I just want to note that I’m not actually making these today. We had a huge brunch, and I’m still satisfied!! I have to show you. Once in awhile I just have to spoil us with a naughty meal. What better day than this one??

I’ve had this recipe in the “ready to write” files for a long time. I, like many others, am taking advantage of the current retrograde and purging my life. As you all know, I’m pretty much always in that mode.

It’s funny. If I’m writing, I’m probably purging, so you see that side of me often. When I’m building and working, I don’t have as much time to write, so I’m not here. Hmmm. I need to balance that out. Thing is, I don’t feel like telling people what I’m up to anymore. Just know I’m always working on something and great things are happening daily. Yeah, there are still shit moments, too. Who cares?? It’s all temporary and fleeting.

Ok. Let’s get down to the business of cabbage rolls. You cannot wait to try these bad boys. You’re going to want a large roasting pan for this recipe, so you should know that before we begin.

What You Need:

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium sweet onion diced

2 Tbsp minced garlic

1 can (29 Oz) crushed tomatoes

1 can (29 oz) tomato sauce

1/4 c red cooking wine

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

3/4 c dark brown sugar

3/4 c golden raisins

1 Tsp marjoram

Salt

Pepper

Filling

3 lbs lean ground beef

3 eggs

1 c diced sweet onion

3/4 c Panko crumbs

3/4 c uncooked rice

1 tsp marjoram

Salt

Pepper

3 heads cabbage

What You Do:

Preheat oven to 400.

Prep cabbage by cutting out the core and then gently removing each leaf.

Wash in cool water.

Thin the heavy bottom vein by taking a paring knife down the back side of the leaf.

If the vein is still too thick, just remove it by cutting it in a thin “v”.

Set the cabbage aside.

Bring a large pot to medium-high heat. Add olive oil and onion. Cook until onion has softened and is translucent.

Add the garlic and cook one minute longer.

Stir in canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, cooking wine, vinegar, brown sugar, raisins and marjoram. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let simmer 20 minutes.

While sauce is simmering, boil a large pot of water.

Place cabbage in pot and remove leaves with tongs once they become pliable.

You should aim to have 24 leaves depending on the size of your cabbage.

Set aside to cool in a large colander.

Combine all the meat filling ingredients in a large bowl.

Spray the baking pan with cooking spray.

Ladle enough sauce to cover bottom of pan.

Take any broken or small leaves and make a bed to keep the rolls from getting too done on the bottom, plus, it’s just extra deliciousness to sop up excess sauce.

Spoon filling into the bottom portion of the cabbage leaves. Shape into a large oval.

Roll cabbage leaves up from the stem side.

Place seam side down in your prepared roasting pan.

Fill dish with cabbage rolls, stacking a second layer if needed. Put a bit of sauce between any layers.

Pour more sauce on top of everything.

Use it all if it will fit. You want it to cook the rice.

Cover with a top or aluminum foil and bake for 50-90 minutes until sauce is bubbling and rice is cooked through.

Serve warm and enjoy!!

This recipe can be scaled to make huge amounts for parties and special occasions. I’m currently dreaming up a smoked version and chatting with the dude about it as I write this. It will happen.

These are good for a day or two in the refrigerator, but they don’t last long. I’m not going to lie; I’m totally guilty of waking up and slamming a golumbpki sandwich after a tough workout. It happened. It was bomb. What can I say??

You guys have a fantastic week!! I’ll be dropping you a new recipe on Tuesday, and I must say; it’s going to be something you’ve probably never seen before. Tune in.

XOXO, Chelle.

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