This is one of my favorite meals. Golabki. You may know this as Stuffed Cabbage, but I come from a Polish family and in our house these are only known as Golabki. Every time I make these it brings me back to when I was a child. For holidays or special gatherings the older women in my family would prepare the best Polish dishes and it was special. You cannot just go to the store and get a meal like this. As a matter of fact, I don’t know of many restaurants where you can go to get a meal like this. This meal has to come from your kitchen, from scratch and from your heart. It is made with love.
This meal does take some time to prepare, but it is worth every minute. I decided to start making these in my slow cooker for Sunday dinners because I wanted to spend time with my family and not be in the kitchen all afternoon. I think these are amazing when made in the slow cooker. The meat filling is so moist and tender and the flavors have time to be mingled together perfectly. I can make this recipe with ease now, but it was a bit tricky in the beginning. I didn’t give up on these though because I wanted to share this with my children. It was important for me to continue certain things that show my children part of their heritage. Whether you are Polish or not, this is a wonderful meal! I hope you get a chance to make these sometime soon for your family. Do you have a special family meal you like to make in your slow cooker?
For those of you who haven’t made these before, I made a quick photo tutorial:
First, I like to cut a deep square around the core of the cabbage with a Chef’s knife. This allows the cabbage leaves to be removed easily and without any tears when you place the cabbage in boiling water to soften it.
In a pot of salted water, gently place the cabbage in and turn it with the edge of the mesh strainer or a wooden spoon. After a few minutes, remove 2 leaves. Keep doing this until you have enough leaves. I like to use this strainer because I gently touch the cabbage and the leaf is separates and I quickly place it in the strainer to remove any excess water. Be careful it’s going to be hot!
Set the cabbage leaves on the counter to cool off a bit before you work with them.
Turn over the cabbage and with a sharp paring knife, remove the hard stem that goes down the middle without piercing through the leaf. You don’t want that tough piece in there!
Now that your cabbage leaves are ready, whisk your ingredients together for the Tomato Sauce.
Use the left over cabbage and onion to cover the bottom of the slow cooker.
Pour about 1/3 of the sauce over it.
Spoon about 1/2 cup of meat filling into the cabbage leaves. Size will depend on how large your cabbage leaves are and your personal preference.
Roll up the cabbage firmly while tucking in the sides.
Place the rolled cabbage into the Slow Cooker so they are touching but not over crowded either.
Cover the first layer of Golabki with another 1/3 of the Tomato Sauce.
Make a second layer and cover with the remaining sauce. Place the lid on the Slow Cooker and cook on Low for 8 to 9 hours or on High 4 to 5 hours.