Last December, I had an enjoyable educational trip to Poland to learn some of the aspects of Polish cuisine as well as Polish culinary trends. Things that we have explored including Polish food products including regional, traditional and organic, hands-on experience preparing Polish dishes from scratch as well as sharing sessions with Polish recognized culinary creators like Polish chefs, experts and also representatives of the industry who specialize in culinary issues and food promotion.
I have been greatly inspired by Polish cuisine since the trip. Polish cuisine is very interesting with some aspects similar to Asian cuisine. What I’m creating today are cabbage rolls which are known as Golabki in Polish.
1 head cabbage
100g minced beef
100g minced pork
5 pieces of button mushroom
3 garlic cloves
1 large onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon paprika powder
1 can tomato sauce
First and foremost, blanche whole cabbage in boiling water, peeling them off as they become loose. Let the cabbage cool down a little before you separate the leaves. Once the outer leaves are separated, continue boiling the inner core of the cabbage. Don’t forget to cut off any thick stems to prevent the leaf from rolling.
While waiting for the cabbage to boil, you may chop onion and mince garlic. Saute the garlic and onion over low heat until they have caramelized. Then add in some chopped mushrooms. Remove from the pan and let them cool down to room temperature.
Prepare the cabbage roll fillings by adding the meat fillings, sauteed mushrooms with one teaspoon salt, pepper, paprika powder and an egg. Mix it up well with your hands and let it sit in the fridge while allowing the flavours to penetrate.
Once the leaves are separated, take a small knife, trim off any thick stems, cut a portion of the stem for easy wrapping. Add in one big teaspoon of the meat filling in the center of each cooked cabbage leaf.
I like to start wrapping from the bottom, left, right and finally roll it up like a parcel. Be sure to wrap it tight as the cabbage roll might unswaddle as you cooked it. Place each golablki firmly down into an oven. You may wish to bake it. I’ve decided to boil it on a cooking pan as I do not have an oven.
The tomato broth is simple with only tomato paste and water. Don’t forget to use water from boiling the whole cabbage. You may wish to add in more tomato for the extra flavour. Pour the tomato broth over the golabki, make sure to cover the golabki. I have also layered the leftover cabbage leaves over the golabki before adding the tomato broth. The leftover cabbage leaves act to prevent the rolls from unswaddle.
Let it boil under low heat for an hour until the cabbage is soft.
Here’s my virgin attempt of cooking Golabki. Loving the savoury meat fillings with some crunch from the cabbage. Poland tastes good!
Preparation time: 2 hours