Gołąbki (pronounced go-womp-kee) is translated as pigeon. Although no pigeon is used in the recipe, the name could possibly be due to it's resemblance to the shape of pigeon breast. Legend has it that a king of Poland (Casimir IV Jagiellon) fed his army with golabki before a key battle in 1465 and the subsequent victory was credited to this hearty meal beforehand. Personally I feel like sleeping after a big meal but maybe there was some secret ingredient in the ancient version that 'gave the soldiers wings' (pun intended).
Golabki is basically boiled cabbage leaves stuffed with minced meat (traditionally beef but also pork/chicken/turkey), onion and rice (or buckwheat groats/kasia). The cabbage rolls are served with a rich tomato based sauce in which the golabki is cooked.
When I first tasted this, I immediately changed my favourite Polish dish from Bigos to this. Although now I think of both dishes equally as my favourite.
What you need
cabbage rolls and filling
- Cabbage (1 or 2)
- Minced meat (few pounds of beef or pork)
- Onion (1 large chopped)
- Rice (few cups)
- Carrot (1 or 2 grated)
- An egg
- Butter (few tablespoons)
- Salt and Pepper
- Tomato paste (about 1 cup)
- Chicken stock (about a cup)
- Butter (couple of tablespoons)
- Canned tomatoes (1 can)
- Flour (2 tablespoons)
- Garlic cloves (1 or 2 crushed)
- Fresh thyme and parsley
What you do
- Boil cabbage until leaves start to fall off.
- Boil the loose cabbage leaves until tender but do not over boil. Roughly 15mins.
3. Place leaves on a colander to drain and cool.
4. Boil rice with salt for about 10mins until tender
5. Rinse rice with water and drain in colander. Leave to dry.
6. Brown onions in a pan with butter.
7. Mix onions, minced meat, rice, salt, pepper, carrot (why not experiment)
8. Trim spines of cabbage leaves.
9. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons mixture onto wider end of flattened out leaf.
10. Fold in sides and roll from wide end to narrower end.
11. Place all cabbage rolls into casserole dish and lined with flat cabbage leaves, cover after half filling with water.
13. Place in preheated oven (about 350f) for 30mins.
14. To make the sauce add butter to a pan and add flour. Heat for a couple of minutes.
15. Add other ingredients and bring to the boil stirring continually. Simmer for 20 mins.
16. Add the sauce to the golabki in the casserole dish, cover and cook for another half an hour.
17. Serve golabki covered in sauce and topped with chopped parsley, with ziemniaki (potatoes) and surówka (similar to coleslaw).
There are a series of adverts I absolutely love involving a supermarket chain called Biedronka (translates as ladybird and unsurprisingly that is their logo). They advertise their products by anthropomorphizing them and in a sea of adverts in which I do not understand, these come as a welcome relief as I can just enjoy the effect. They are are very well done.
Below is one for Gołąbki