When my husband and I came to Toronto, accidentally we figure out one of the most popular food here is Gabbage Rolls. This college semester I have to have “college placement” in Cafe and Chef House (college restaurant) where our students nail different culinary skills one of them experimental recipes. One day my classmate and chef decided to go with Cabbage Rolls because “everybody loves Cabbage rolls”.Everybody, except me. I could not figure out why the cabbage rolls here are so untasty? When the day X came I found the answer and this answer made me want to share the recipe of Cabbage Rolls or Golubcy (plural)/ Golubec (single).
To make tasty Cabbage Rolls (even better than you know it), You need.
- Cabbage – 1 big piece
- Vinegar – 1 tablespoon
- Ground meat (any kind) – 500 g
- Rice – 200 g
- Water, hot – 340 ml
- Onion, small dice – 1 medium
- Carrot, grated – 1 medium
- Oil – to sautee
- For sause:
- Flour – 15 g
- Butter – 15 g
- Tomato paste – 50 g
- Stock – 300ml
- Bay leaf -1 pc
- Thyme (optionally) – 2 strings
- Chipotle (optionally) – 2 teaspoons
Carefully remove the core from cabbage. Place cabbage into a pot and pour water enough to cover the cabbage. Add one table spoon of vinegar and salt. Vinegar’ll help to keep the green color of cabbage. Keep simmering for 10 minutes about while the leaves’ll be soft. Remove upper leaves and, if middle leaves are still hard, leave the cabbage to simmer for longer time.
2. Prepare Rice.
When I need to get the perfect dry and soft rice I follow the “22 minutes” rule.
3. Prepare vegetables.
Sweat the carrot and onion with oil over a medium heat till the carrot’ll be soft.
4. Prepare stuffing
Combine ground meat, vegetables, rice, salt and pepper. Optionally, You can vary the stuffing, for example, use lamb/pork/rabbit/beef meat and different spices which you like more, add some herbs and garlic.
5. Rolling the cabbage rolls.
Very important to use soft cabbage leaves and do not “overstuffing” them; other way, you’ll get them:
*The most important difference which I found between “Russian” style and “western” style of Cabbage Rolls is filling. We do not cook the filling before the rolling part, at the same time the “western” style puts in already cooked meat. In my opinion, it’s big mistake. Just imagine the situation when the Cabbage rolls apeared. General idea to put meat in the cabbage leaf was to keep the juice and aroma from meat, same as we use foil, banana leaves, parchment paper, corn leaves or clay stoping it from leaching. Our ancestors were smart when invented some recipes, every step was for some reasons and studying culinary proves it.
6. Caramelize cabbage.
Over high heat, pan fry with oil the cabbage rolls to give them caramelized color and taste. Also, this step’ll make crust over the stuffing and help to prevent juice leaching during the next step.
7. Sauce preparation and finishing.
Make blond simple roux. When the roux is ready, add 50 g of tomato paste/tomato sauce or even blended skinless tomatoes. Add 300 ml of stock or hot water, place Cabbage Rolls in, add thyme, bay leaf or other beloved spices and herbs. Bring to boil, keep simmering for 40 minutes, checking amount of liquid which should not be low then to the middle of rolls. Then, keep over the lowest heat about 40 more minutes.
Enjoy your Perfect Cabbage Rolls!
Thanks for attention!