My Cousin’s Golabki

My cousin shared this recipe with me recently on Facebook.  It’s a Polish family favorite for him, and I had never made it, contemplated how it was made, nor known what it was called.

Who knew it had such a fun name?  Golabki!  It could be an exclamation of joy:  “Golabki! We won the lottery!”  Or even a curse: “Take that, you loser! Golabki!”  How about a blessing?:  “Golabki, and may the Force be with you.”   But, frankly it is simply best as a synonym for deliciousness.

Since we are now empty nesters, I cut the recipe in half.  I also added some cheese (since I am addicted to cheese) and some beer (since cabbage and meat like beer).   Even at a half recipe, it made eight rolls!  After dinner, I froze several and saved the rest for breakfast.  It was terrific with a poached egg!

Golabki’s sock-it-to-me flavor, impressive appearance, and straightforward preparation will have you adding this dish to your all-time favorites.

Golabki, and thanks cous!

Serves 4


  • 1  very small head of cabbage
  • 1 lb ground beef  (or ½ lb beef, ½ lb pork) (I have also made this with ground lamb*, and it is tasty!)
  • 1/3 C uncooked med grain white rice
  • ½ cup onion (minced)
  • 2-4 garlic cloves garlic minced
  • Salt & pepper
  •  2 T coarse prepared (jar) mustard (stone ground style)
  • ½ C rough chopped sharp white cheddar cheese (West coast addition)
  • 1 beaten egg  (alternate:  I think this would also be good with 2 hardboiled eggs, chopped)
  • 1 ½ C sauerkraut
  •  2 C tomato sauce
  • 1/3 C beer or Riesling (if you do not do alcohol, add apple cider or broth)
  • 2 T butter

*ground lamb addition: 1 t cumin and 1/4 C raisins.


  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Core cabbage. Boil (or steam) the cored cabbage in salted water 10 min each side, for a total of 20 min. A big head may need more time.
  • Mix ground beef, rice, onion, garlic, cheese, egg, spices.
  • Butter bottom of casserole.
  • Cover bottom of casserole pan with cabbage leaves.
  • Use cabbage leaves as a wrap. Roll meat to desired roll size and place in cabbage leaf.  (Use tooth pick to secure it shut if needed.)
  • Place in casserole pan.
  • Once you have the pan filled with cabbage rolls, pack sauerkraut around and on top of rolls.
  • Pour tomato sauce (mixed with added beer/wine) on top.
  • Put cabbage leaves on top covering everything.
  • Cover with tin foil.
  • Bake at 350  F for 1 hour 15 minutes.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. It sounds so good. Paul’s parents, Chet and Millie, used to make their own sauerkraut every year and it was the best.


  2. Paul Galinski says:

    Awsome cuz! I’m glad you liked it and the next time I make it I’m following your recipe! Your Texas Polish cousin.


    1. Stacey says:

      Thank you, Paul! It was a fun recipe to make. I made the tomato sauce very spicy, but figured folks would use whatever type of sauce they liked. The dish is very flexible. I think it would make a great brunch party dish!


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