Friday, April 2, 2010

Golubtsy, Golubki (Cabbage Rolls)

These are one of my favorite make-ahead meals.  It looks long but it's really easy. I promise!!  Admittedly, I made these months ago and have worked my way through all but one of the frozen portions. The weather isn't exactly conducive to this type of meal anymore but if I don't post it now, I never will!

2 x 14 oz cans Tomato - If you use whole tomatoes I would break them up first
Onion, garlic, herbs

I use good quality pureed tomatoes or canned whole tomatoes that I process slightly with a hand blender. If you have whole tomatoes, reserve some of the juice for the filling.  Add a little olive oil to a sauce pan. Add your onion, cook a minute or two, stirring. Add the garlic and keep it moving for another minute, then add herbs, toss, and add the tomatoes. Cook for about 20 minutes. *Put a large pot of water on for you cabbage now.

Ground meat - beef, pork, veal or any combination of the above. I've used a chicken/beef mix to keep it lean and it's delicious! (~2 lbs total)
Rice - white or basmati work well, uncooked (palmful, about 1/2 cup)
herbs - dill, oregano, basil (I like fresh dill but dried basil & oregano. It's your choice)

onion - very finelt chopped (~1/2 cup)
garlic -minced (1-2 cloves)
tomato juice - enough to make the filling quite moist
salt & pepper

If you haven't noticed yet, I'm not one for specific quantities. I really do cook most things by "feel". In fact, if I had half the talent for "feel" in the riding realm as I do in the kitchen, I'd be a happy woman. In any case, the measurements in brackets are approximate. It's ok, you can't go wrong with this. Ask questions too, I'll answer!!  Use a little tomato juice from the canned tomatoes for the sauce to make the filling moist. If you only had a thicker tomato puree, you can use a bit of that plus beef stock or even a bit of sherry, wine, or beer.

Once your filling is mixed and the sauce is pretty much ready, drop the head of cabbage into the boiling water. I do this in stages. Boil a few minutes then remove onto a cookie sheet. Use tongs to remove as many leaves as possible. Return to pot and repeat process until leaves start to get too small to make a good size roll or you think you have enough. I often have left over filling and I just make meatballs out of it and tuck it around the rolls.

Remove the thick end of the cabbage leaf spine. I wish I had a picture of this, but I basically cut a long triangle on either side of the stem end, removing the thickest part to make rolling easier. Add filling and roll. You will figure out the method that works.

Feel free to ask questions, I'll answer and post follow-up pictures if I can.

This is what I ended up with. The large pot was for that day. You can see the extra meat was made into meatballs which I place around the golubtsy.I froze the three smaller dishes as is and just add some tomato sauce on top when I bake them. The large dish I added extra tomato sauce and some beef stock. I bake at around 350F for 40 minutes or so.


Jason said...

Mmmmmm....cabbage rolls.....

RuckusButt said...

I hope that's not sarcasm =-)

Once Upon an Equine said...

Looks delicious. I'm gonna try it. Thanks!

RuckusButt said...

I hope you do! Let me know how it goes.

HorseOfCourse said...

It's funny how you find recepes that are similar to each other around the world.

One traditional Swedish dish is also cabbage rolls with a meat and rice filling, but you do them with a broth sauce, and top it with some syrup(!), yes I know - sounds weird, but tastes good. Is served with potatoes and cranberries.

It was one of my favourites as a child.

Thanks for sharing, RB - I will try it out!

RuckusButt said...

HoC - this comes from my husband, who is Russian. But I take many liberties with the "traditional" approach. What type of syrup do you use? Maple? I could see some Canadian maple syrup adding a nice sweetness to it.

HorseOfCourse said...

Isn't that nice? We're really getting multicultural here!

No, syrup from sugar beets, that's what's "normal" here.
I have never tasted maple syrup, though you can get it in well assorted shops here. Don't know how to use it, lol!

RuckusButt said...

I know, I love the multicultural aspect!

I've never had beet syrup and I don't think I've ever seen it, either. I'll have to keep an eye out. I use maple syrup for breakfast pancakes or waffles, cooked oatmeal (or mixed grain cereal) and it's lovely with mustard as a glaze for salmon. I should have done a "maple month" in March, which is the time when the sap usually runs in the trees.