Freda's Authentic Golumpki (Golabki) Recipe


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Happy November, everyone!  I'd like to share with you a favorite fall dish that my babcia, Freda, used to make. It's a staple in many Polish homes, and it's pronounced  "Gowumpkey". I still remember coming home from school with the heavenly smell of this stuffed cabbage cooking in the oven.  It's simple to make and delicious!


  • 1 large head of cabbage
  • 1-1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. paprika (or to taste)
  • 1 - 28 oz. can whole tomatoes with juice
  • 2 cans condensed tomato soup



  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Bring large pot to boil, then down to simmer.

Prepare Cabbage:

  1. Parboil cabbage in a large pot of simmering water, cutting leaves against the core and pull them off into the water and cook until pliable; about 5 minutes.
  2. Let leaves cool slightly.
  3. With a sharp knife, cut the thick membrane or stem off the back of each leaf, being careful not to cut through the leaf.  Lay the leaf down flat and keep your knife horizontal to slice off the thick part of the leaf.
  4. Continue simmering the cabbage and removing leaves.
  5. Any leaves that cannot be used at the end, reserve for later.
  6. Reserve cooking water.

Prepare Filling:

  1. Saute onions in 4 Tbsp. butter until golden.
  2. Parboil 1 cup of rice in 1 cup of water with 1 tsp. salt for about 7-8 minutes and let cool.
  3. Mix ground meats with sauteed onions. 
  4. Add Worcestershire, salt and pepper and paprika. 
  5. Beat eggs with a fork.
  6. Add cooled rice and beaten eggs and mix well. 

Create the cabbage rolls:

  1. Depending how big the leaves are, place about 1/2 cup of filling towards the end of the cabbage leaf.
  2. Roll leaf up and over meat, fold in both sides and continue to roll into a bundle.
  3. If there is any meat leftover, just form them into meatballs and add to the lasagna pan. 
  4. Add any leftover cabbage leaves to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Blend whole tomatoes with 2 cups reserved cooking liquid from the cabbage. 
  6. Add the tomato soup. 
  7. Pour the tomato soup over the cabbage. 
  8. Bake at 325 degrees F. covered, for 2 – 2.5 hours.



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