If you’re like me the thought has often crossed my mind to make a certain recipe but the labor/preparation time involved causes me to “re-think” the situation and choose something simpler to prepare. It is for that very reason this recipe has become one of Penny’s and my favorite recipes. Penny first learned how to make cabbage rolls, aka “golabki” pronounced gwumpke from two Polish ladies a number of years ago. The rather extensive preparation and labor needed to make authentic Polish cabbage rolls sometimes conflicts with the time budgeted to fix supper. So…here is a great recipe for tasty delicious cabbage rolls minus most of the labor normally required for this dish.
The classic Polish recipes for “golabki” calls for coring a large head of cabbage and boiling it in a pot of salted water for a few minutes until the large outer leaves are flexible enough to be peeled off the head. While the cabbage is boiling one prepares the filling which in our recipe consists of mixing together burger, breakfast sausage or ground pork, an egg, and rice. Then we take 2-3 tablespoons of filling roll it burrito style into a cabbage leaf before baking with crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and sauerkraut.
For this recipe we coarsely chop the cabbage and divide it in two. One half of the chopped cabbage is placed in the bottom of the Dutch oven and the very same classic filling is crumbled over top of this lower layer of chopped cabbage. With that done the remaining chopped cabbage is used to cover the filling with the tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, sauerkraut, and a can of beer added over the top of the second layer of chopped cabbage. We bake ours with 10-12 briquets underneath and 20-24 on top for about an hour. For your home oven make and bake in a deep casserole dish for approximately an hour at 365-375 degrees.
Preparation time for classic cabbage rolls usually takes 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how big of batch you’re making. Unrolled cabbage rolls can be prepped in about twenty minutes. For variety, use different fillings by varying the type of sausage and seasonings.