Golubtsi ~ Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

OMG you have to try this Golubtsi (голубцы) or Stuffed Cabbage Rolls.

Golubtsi (голубцы) or Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are a traditional Ukrainian dish that is made with ground beef, ground pork, rice, mushrooms, onions, and wrapped in cabbage leaves then cooked in a delicious homemade tomato sauce. Top it with some sour cream to give it ever more gusto.

Ways to Make Golubtsi (голубцы)

The traditional stuffing for Ukrainian Golubtsi, Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, is rice and minced meat (as a rule it is a mix of pork and beef). Additional fillings of mushrooms, bacon, haricot beans can also be used. Sometimes, the rice is substituted with buckwheat, wheat grits, etc.

There are two ways to make this Ukrainian dish: bake them in the oven or stew them in a pan and although the stuffing, spice, and sauce may vary, the cabbage is the universal ingredient.

How to Store Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

To store cooked cabbage rolls, refrigerate in shallow airtight containers or wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Properly stored, the cooked cabbage rolls will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

Golubtsi ~ Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Golubtsi ~ Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Freezing Golubtsi

We do not recommend freezing your cooked cabbage rolls because it’s likely they will fall apart into a soupy puddle when reheating them. You have to start the freezing process slowly in the refrigerator, just like you have to thaw cabbage rolls slowly for best results. The cabbage leaves do not freeze well.

History of the Golubtsi

All of the ingredients needed to make stuffed cabbage rolls were available in Europe for the last 10,000 years with the exception of the tomato which was only available in the Americas before the 1700s. In the past 300 years, almost every country in the world has there own version of stuffed cabbage rolls.

Ukraine is the world’s 5th largest producer of cabbage, so it’s no wonder that golubtsi is their national dish. This delicious dish is served in many homes and restaurants across the country. In Odessa, you can find perhaps the best golubtsi in the country at Kumanets – Куманець – Restaurant.

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The City of Odessa, Ukraine

Odessa is the third most populous city and municipality in Ukraine and a major tourism center, seaport, and transport hub located in the southwest of the country, on the northwestern shore of the Black Sea. The city is also the administrative center of the Odessa Raion and Odessa Oblast, as well as a multiethnic cultural center. Odessa is sometimes called the “pearl of the Black Sea”, the “South Capital”, “The Humor Capital” and “Southern Palmyra”.

A Brief History of Odessa

Odessa was the site of a large Greek settlement no later than the middle of the 6th century BC. The history of the modern city began in the 14th century when the Tatar fortress of Khadzhibey was built. In 1795 the city fell to the Russian empire and the name was changed from Khadzhibey to Odessa.

The first census that was conducted in Odessa was in 1797 accounted for 3,455 people and by 1803 the city boasted 9,000 people. Today, Odessa is home to over a million people with 68% ethnic Ukrainian and 25% ethnic Russian.

Tourism in Odessa

Odessa is known for its beaches and 19th-century architecture, including the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theater. The monumental Potemkin Stairs, immortalized in “The Battleship Potemkin,” lead down to the waterfront with its Vorontsov Lighthouse. Running parallel to the water, the grand Primorsky Boulevard is a popular promenade lined with mansions and monuments.

Ukrainian Cuisine

Often referred to as the “breadbasket of Europe” the Ukrainian cuisine emphasizes the importance of wheat and grain to the Ukrainian people and its often tumultuous history with it. The majority of Ukrainian dishes descend from ancient peasant dishes based on plentiful grain resources such as rye as well as staple vegetables such as potatoes, cabbages, mushrooms, and beetroots. Ukrainian dishes incorporate both traditional Slavic techniques as well as other European techniques, a byproduct of years of foreign jurisdiction and influence.

Kumanets – Куманець – Restaurant
Havanna St, 7, Odesa, Ukraine, 65000

Kumanets
Kumanets

We offer you to enjoy the main dishes of generous Ukrainian cuisine, so carefully prepared by the chefs of Kumants. Dumplings, stuffed cabbage, borsch, potato pancakes, and many other delicious Ukrainian dishes. Our main task is to deliciously feed and surprise you with the taste of Ukrainian cuisine, generous portions, and beautiful dishes!

How to Make This Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe

This Stuffed Cabbage Rolls recipe is made with cabbage boiled to soften the leaves. Each leaf is stuffed with ground beef, pork, rice, onion, carrot, and tomato, and seasoned with salt and pepper. Then it is cooked in a tomato sauce until the Golubtsi (голубцы) has reached 160 degrees F.

What You Need to Make Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Ingredients for Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Ingredients for Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Equipment Needed

  • 1 Stock Pot
  • 1 Knife
  • 1 Cutting Board

For the Sauce

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

For the Cabbage Rolls

  • 1 cabbage
  • 8 oz rice
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ½ cup mushrooms, diced
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • ½ lb beef ground
  • ½ lb pork ground
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp black pepper

How to Cook Golubtsi – Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Time needed: 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Cooking Instructions for Golubtsi ~ Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

  1. For the Sauce

    Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes or until translucent.

  2. Cook the sauce

    Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, and pepper to the pot.

  3. Stir in Sugar and Wine

    Stir in the brown sugar and red wine vinegar. Bring to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside for later use.

  4. Preheat the Oven

    While the sauce is simmering, prepare the cabbage rolls. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  5. Boil the Cabbage

    Trim off the stem end of the cabbage and boil the cabbage until soft. Pull away leaves trying to avoid crushing. Set aside for later use.

  6. Cook the Rice

    Cook the rice in salted water until half-ready. Set aside for later use.

  7. Brown the Onions

    Brown the onions and mushrooms in the frying pan with cooking oil. Set aside for later use.

  8. Mix the Filling

    Mix rice, browned onions and mushrooms, raw beef and pork, tomato paste, salt, and pepper together in a mixing bowl.

  9. Stuff the Cabbage

    Fill the softened cabbage leaves with stuffing. Place even amounts of filling on each cabbage leaf, then roll the leaf around the filling. Beginning from the cut end of the leaf, roll each leaf up and over the filling, tucking the leaf underneath itself to create a tight bundle. Put them into a large pot for further cooking.

  10. Cook the Golubtsi

    Add the finished tomato sauce to Golubtsi and bake for 30 minutes.

The recipe takes a little planning and some patience to make these little pockets of flavor but it’s well worth the extra effort. Garnish with sour cream and serve with a side of a cucumber salad, and garlic roasted carrots for an authentic Ukrainian meal.

If you liked this dish please Rate This Recipe and leave a comment.

Golubtsi ~ Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Golubtsi ~ Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Recipe Author | Captain Cook
Ukrainian Golubtsi (голубцы) ore Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are little bundles of cabbage leaves that have been stuffed and cooked with a mixture of ground beef and pork, onions, mushrooms, and other spices, and braised in a homemade tomato sauce. They are typically served with a sour cream-based sauce.

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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cuisine Ukrainian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 327 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Sauce

For the Cabbage Rolls

For Garnish

Instructions
 

For the Sauce

  • Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes or until translucent.
    2 tbsp unsalted butter, ½ cup yellow onion
  • Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, and pepper to the pot.
    1 tsp garlic, 28 oz crushed tomatoes, 15 oz tomato sauce, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper
  • Stir in the brown sugar and red wine vinegar. Bring to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside for later use.
    2 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

For the Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

  • While the sauce is simmering, prepare the cabbage rolls. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Trim off the stem end of the cabbage and boil the cabbage until soft. Pull away leaves trying to avoid crushing. Set aside for later use.
    1 cabbage
  • Cook the rice in salted water until half-ready, about 10 minutes. Set aside for later use.
    8 oz white rice
  • Brown the onions and mushrooms in the frying pan with cooking oil. Set aside for later use.
    1 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 yellow onion, ½ cup white mushrooms
  • Mix rice, browned onions and mushrooms, raw beef and pork, tomato paste, salt, and pepper together in a mixing bowl.
    ½ lbs 80/20 ground beef, ½ lbs ground pork, 1 tbsp salt, 1 ½ tbsp black pepper, 6 oz tomato paste
  • Fill the softened cabbage leaves with stuffing. Place even amounts of filling on each cabbage leaf, then roll the leaf around the filling. Beginning from the cut end of the leaf, roll each leaf up and over the filling, tucking the leaf underneath itself to create a tight bundle. Put them into a large pot for further cooking.
  • Add the finished tomato sauce to Golubtsi and bake for 40 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Garnish with sour cream and chopped green onions.
    sour cream, green onion

Nutrition

Calories: 327kcalCarbohydrates: 42.3gProtein: 22.6gFat: 7.8gSaturated Fat: 3.2gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 698mgPotassium: 726mgFiber: 6gSugar: 13.8gCalcium: 86mgIron: 10mg
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Photo Credits:

  • By Taste The World Cookbook – Copyright 2022 All rights reserved.
  • By Kumanets – Куманець – Restaurant – By https://www.facebook.com/Kumanets.od.ua
  • By ciekawy (Szymon Stasik) – https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2931885416/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12632861
  • By Konstantin Brizhnichenko – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=82536967
  • By HOBOPOCC – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10472130
  • By Alexostrov – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21658066
  • By Erud – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11601693
  • By Alexey M. – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60505034
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Captain Cook
Captain Cookhttps://notallwhowanderarelost.com/
If you strip away the labels and isms and meta tags, what are you left with? Are you strong and free enough as an individual to survive the loss of all those crutches and maintain reason and meaning? Can you use the power of thought and choice to walk the road of life?
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