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MDW Cooks: Gawumpki/Stuffed Cabbage Recipe = Fond Memories of Granny

After my Polish grandmother passed away I felt as if some of my favorite memories of childhood had gone with her — specifically the eating memories. My family celebrated our first annual “Super-Happy-I’m-Polish” New Year’s Day meal in 2019, and since then, I’ve had overwhelming requests to share my Granny's golumpki/gawumpki/gołąbki/stuffed cabbage recipe.


Golumpki (or Gołąbki, Stuffed Cabbage) Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes Servings: 6–8

Ingredients: 1 large cabbage head, the biggest one you can find at your local market 2 pounds of ground beef 1 medium onion (diced) 1 egg (possibly 2) 1 cup of cooked rice 1/2 cup of Italian bread crumbs 2–3 cans of tomato soup (I used Campbell’s because that’s what my Granny used) 1 tsp of salt 1 Tbsp of pepper

Prepping and cooking directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2. Put the cabbage head into a large stock pot, add water over the top to cover and place on stove on high heat, bringing to a boil.

3. Once the water is at a rapid boil, turn down your flame a bit and boil until the leaves of the cabbage are not stiff but flexible. This usually takes about 30 minutes.

4. While the cabbage is boiling, combine the following ingredients in a large bowl: ground beef, onion, egg, rice, bread crumbs. Mix this thoroughly with your hands.

5. Take a gander at your mixture. It should be the consistency of meatloaf, nice and moist. At this point, if your mixture is dry, add an extra egg. Mix again.

6. Add your salt and pepper and mix again.

7. Remove your cabbage from the hot water and place on a cutting board to cool for a bit. If you have no feeling in your hands from years of baking and touching hot things, feel free to peel the cabbage now. If you’re sensitive to burning hot things, let the cabbage cool a bit before trying to peel.

8. After the cabbage has cooled a bit, snag a leaf from the head and lay it on a flat surface. Try not to tear the leaves. Take a bit of the meat mixture, enough to fill the palm of your hand, and place it in the middle of the cabbage leaf. Proceed to wrap the leaf around the meat ball, creating a cute little bundle of meaty goodness. Place the seam of the stuffed roll on the bottom of your roasting pan. (I do prefer to use a good ‘ol glass Pyrex casserole dish, because I like to see things bubbling as they bake, but to each her own.)

Wrap rolls until all your meat is used. ( A NOTE FROM CHEF RAGO: If you fill your pan, just start another.)

9. Open the cans of tomato soup and use a large spoon to ladle over each roll. After each is covered take your spoon and smear all over the rolls making a nice tomato-y blanket over the entire casserole.

10. Cover with foil and place into the oven, baking at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

11. While you’re waiting, you could easily watch an episode of The Great British Bake Off on Netflix or FOUR episodes of Parks and Recreation with Amy Poehler. Leslie Knope is my spirit animal.

12. Remove from oven and ENJOY!

xo, E

A version of this recipe was originally featured on MDW on Medium.


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