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Polish Stuffed Cabbage by Gene Munson Barry

Updated on February 24, 2014

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Why Polish Stuffed Cabbage

I have no Polish ancestry. My background is more Scotch/Irish. That doesn't stop me from liking other nationalities' food. I never liked the polish stuffed cabbage with tomato sauce. However, once I learned it could be served with white sauce, I started experimenting and here is my special version of Polish Stuffed Cabbage, Golumpki.

Cook Time

Prep time: 45 min
Cook time: 1 hour 3 min
Ready in: 1 hour 48 min
Yields: approximately 18 good sized cabbage rolls


Cabbage is high in Potassium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Folate.


  • 1 head cabbage, leaves separated approx 4 lb.
  • 2 Tablespoon butter, real, salted
  • 1 teaspoon salt, Kosher
  • 1 pound beef, ground
  • 1 1/2 cups white rice, cooked
  • 1 large onion, optional
  • 1/2 pound pork, ground
  • 1 cup beef stock, we use beef broth
  • Sour Ceam dollop, optional
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped fine, optional
I have always preferred a gas stove.
I have always preferred a gas stove. | Source


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

Boil your cabbage

Bring water to full boil.
Bring water to full boil. | Source

Prepare Cabbage

We prefer to use Savoy cabbage. Remove core from cabbage. Place the whole head in a large pot filled with boiling, salted water. Cover the pot and cook 3 minutes, or until the head of cabbage is softened enough to pull off individual leaves. You will need about 18 leaves. You will use the outside leaves and after you have your 18 leaves, you will set aside the rest of the cabbage for later use. I use a large colander and carefully pour the water and cabbage head in the sink. I leave the drained cabbage in the colander until it cools. Don't pull off the 18 leaves until the cabbage is cool to the touch.

Trim the Leaves

When leaves are cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to cut away the stem/vein that goes up the leaf. Cut very close to this do not want to end up cutting the leaf in half.

Trim the stem/veign of the cabbage

Here I show how I trim the stem/vein of the cabbage to allow it to be rolled much easier.
Here I show how I trim the stem/vein of the cabbage to allow it to be rolled much easier. | Source

Favorite Parring Knife

I have this great knife.
I have this great knife. | Source

Paring Knife

I have a favorite paring knife. When we were married and combined households, my wife had this knife. I do know that it holds a great edge. What I mean is that this knife stays super sharp if I take care of it correctly.

Cook Remaining Cabbage

Boiling water to cook the cabbage in.
Boiling water to cook the cabbage in. | Source

Remainder of Cabbage

Chop the remaining cabbage and place it in the bottom of a casserole dish or a medium cooking pot.

Cooked Cabbage

After the cabbage has cooked to a tender consistency remove from the heat and drain in a sink using a colander.

Drain Cabbage

My Colanders.
My Colanders. | Source

Tools of My Trade

As you can see I have many kinds of colanders. I prefer the stainless steel screen style, although for straining some items it is a pain to clean afterwords. My wife gets irritated with me if I cook potatoes then use the screen type, because the cooked potato does seem to get caught in the screen. I feel the screen type works wonderful if you're draining something small like cooked rice. Any kind of colander works well with spaghetti and will also work to drain the cabbage although the larger styles work better due to the size of the cabbage leaves.


Sautee the chopped onion in butter in a large frying pan until tender and let it cool. As we do not like the flavor of onions we omit this step. I guess one could substitute shallots in place of a regular onion should you desire a slight onion flavor.

Cook onions

This is one of my Griswold cast iron pans.
This is one of my Griswold cast iron pans. | Source

My Cast Iron Pans

When my grandmother was getting along in her years she and I had talked about cooking. One of the things she did was to say to me that I would have access to her Griswold cooking utensils. Among them were various items, such as a pancake griddle, various smaller pans (See Photo), a cast iron large pan lid, along with a pan. My wife also brought a large cast iron pan into the marrage, bless her so much, she's wonderful.

A bunch of cast iron pans from my grandmother and some from my wifes' mother.
A bunch of cast iron pans from my grandmother and some from my wifes' mother. | Source


Mix cooled onions with beef, pork, rice, garlic, salt and black pepper until well combined, I have at ti,es used our tabletop mixer to make the process oc mixing the ingredients easier and quicker. Don't over mix or the meat will become tough. We omit the onion and garlic.


  • Place about 1/2 cup of meat on each cabbage leaf. Roll away from you to encase the meat.
  • Flip the right side of the leaf to the middle and then flip the left side.
  • You will have something that looks like an envelope. Once again, roll away from you to create a neat little roll.
  • Place the cabbage rolls on top of the cooked chopped cabbage in the casserole dish and season each layer with salt and pepper.
  • Pour beef stock over rolls, cover and place in oven.
  • Bake for 1 hour or until cabbage is tender and meat is cooked.

Procedure Continued

When the cabbage leaves are cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to cut away the thick center stem/vein from each leaf, without cutting all the way through to the top of the leaf.

Cabbage rolls freeze well before or after cooking.

You can also cook this recipe in a crock pot of your choice.

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Simple White sauce

Simple White Sauce


2 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 cups hot milk

3 tablespoons flour

Salt and pepper


Melt the butter in a medium size sauce pan. Stir in flour to make a paste and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Stir continuously, don't allow paste to brown. Remove pan from heat and whisk in hot milk. Return pan to medium high heat and whisk continuously, especially along sides and bottom to prevent lumps. Heat the sauce to a simmer and season.


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    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      This recipe sounds good. I just bought fresh cabbage. I may be trying this. Voted up.