Sorry this one is a little late; I hurt my shoulder the other day and couldn’t sit up and type 🙁
While I’ve never been to Poland, according to a map, I’ve been kinda close to it, when I visited Berlin in Germany a few years ago. Fancy that. My grandmother used to make cabbage rolls, she was German so I suppose the cuisine is similar around those parts.
A lot of Polish cuisine features cabbage. I’ve always spoken of cabbage as a ‘war time food’ since it’s usually cheap, and I’m sure I’ve seen politically insensitive comics from the era depicting poor people lining up for cabbages. Imagine my surprise a year ago when I paid about $4 for a normal cabbage. It was an outrage; I went on and on about it. I mean, you can’t even really eat a whole cabbage if there are only two of you. For this recipe of Golabki I used a wombok cabbage, which thankfully was only about $2. I thought it would be terrible to make rolls with since the stem is so long, but it was OK once the cabbage was steamed.
There were a few million recipes for this online, and comments from cooks ranged from ‘too many herbs’ to ‘this is boring’ to ‘it’s Polish, it’s meant to be boring.’
So, I just picked a middle of the road version. The tomato broth is meant to be salty and tomato, nothing like the sweet richness of Italian tomato sauces, so I can see how people not used to a plainer sauce wouldn’t get it.
1x wombok cabbage (or savoy, whatever)
250gm pork and veal mince
1x brown onion
¼ cup of Arborio rice
1x teaspn marjoram
½ teaspn caraway seeds
few cups of passata
Cook the rice til tender; I don’t have a rice cooker, I just boil it til it’s soft. Separate all the cabbage leaves and trim the bottom part of the stem. Make sure you pick leaves big enough to wrap the meat in. Boil for about 2 mins in salted water. Remove from pot and cool on a plate.
Finely dice the onion and sauté with some vegetable oil. Add the marjoram and caraway seeds and keep frying til the herbs are fragrant, but before the onions turn too brown.
Scrape half the onions into a bowl and mix with the mince and rice. In the pan with the other half of the onions, pour in the passata.
Grab a cabbage leaf and put a small ball of the meat mixture near the end, fold and roll as shown in the pic. Do that to all of the meat, and then pop them in the simmering passata for about 20 mins. Turn carefully after ten minutes. SERVE!
These are pretty good on their own, but even better with some sort of potato dish.