Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Polish Easter Food - Galumpki (Stuffed Cabbage Rolls)

Easter Sunday, in my dad's words...

"We decided to have a traditional Easter dinner this year.

Using Joelen's Galumpki recipe (Stuffed Cabbage, originally by Tyler Florence), we followed it to a T and it was fantastic. I was wary about deviating from my mom's traditional way of making them - in a pot with bacon on the bottom, covering them with water and tomato paste - but these were great. The sweet and sour sauce was excellent and we all enjoyed them.

We also made other traditional Polish food like Mom did - Sour Cream and Cucumber Salad, Pierogies (only Mrs. Ts this time - something my mom never would have done), Grilled Kielbasa, Rye Bread, Colored Hard Boiled Eggs, Beets, and Potato Salad."

This dinner reminded me of Sunday afternoons in my grandmom's dining room. My dad and Jon even played the egg cracking game.. I'm not sure I quite get the point of it, but I remember playing with my dad when I was little, and watching other people around the table play. Basically, one person holds a hard boiled egg in their hand, and the other person smashes down on top of the egg with their egg. One egg will break, and that person is the loser.

Anyway, this galumpki recipe was SO good. I loved the flavors in the meat as well as the sauce. My dad said they were a lot of work, but well worth it. I can't wait until our little girl gets here and is big enough to eat so I can introduce her to these foods I remember eating as a child.

Ingredients - Sweet & Sour Tomato Sauce

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 1/2 quarts crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions - Sweet & Sour Tomato Sauce

  • Coat a 3 qt saucepan with the oil and place over medium heat
  • Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  • Add the vinegar and sugar; simmer until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
  • Season with salt & pepper and remove from the heat.

Ingredients - Galumpki

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • Splash dry red wine
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 c steamed white rice
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large heads green cabbage

Directions - Galumpki

  • Place a skillet over medium heat and coat with 2 tbsp of the oil.
  • Saute the onion and garlic about 5 minutes, until soft.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, wine, parsley, and 1/2 of the prepared sweet & sour tomato sauce. Mix to incorporate it and then remove from heat.
  • Combine the ground meats in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg, cooked rice, and contents of the hot pan you just removed from the heat. Toss the filling together with your hands and season with a generous amount of salt & pepper.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Prepare the cabbage: Remove the large, damaged outer leaves from the cabbages and lay them on the bottom of a large casserole dish, letting part of the leaves hang over the sides of the pan. This insulation will prevent the cabbage rolls from burning on the bottom when baked. Cut out the cores of the cabbages with a soft knife and carefully pull off the rest of the leaves keeping them whole and as undamaged as possible. Blanch the cabbage leaves in the pot of boiling water for 5 minutes, or until pliable. Run the leaves under cool water and then lay them out so you can assess just how many blankets you have to wrap up the filling. Next, cut out the center vein from the leaves so they will be easier to roll.
  • Using the good leaves, put about 1/2 c of the meat mixture in the center of a piece of cabbage. Starting at what was the stem end, fold in the sides and roll up the cabbage to enclose the filling. Place the cabbage rolls, seam side down, on top of the layer of leaves in your casserole dish. Continue until you have filled your pan/used up your leaves and meat mixture.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Pour the remaining sweet & sour sauce over the cabbage rolls. Fold the hanging leaves over the top to act as a cover and keep the moisture in. Drizzle the top with the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil.
  • Bake for 1 hour until the meat is cooked.

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  1. This is making my hungry. My parents are both Polish, raised there, and we ate this kind of food ALL THE TIME! Yum!

  2. I am going to follow this recipe today. Your Sunday dinners sound like my past dinners, when I was young.

    You mentioned not knowing the reason for the 'egg game'. Let me tell you what I was told by my Grandmother. She said the eggs were expensive and you were lucky to have them. The game insured you another egg! The looser had to hand over the broken egg to the winner. We played this too, in fun!

  3. Erin - thanks for sharing!!!! I am sure we will play on Easter.

  4. I have been making this recipe from Tyler Florence for a few years. It's amazing. I sometimes use the filling and put into peppers when I don't have time for the cabbage