Traditional Ukrainian stuffed cabbage rolls (also know as Galubtsi or Halubtsi) are one of my most requested Ukrainian recipes.
Golubtsi are a national favorite of the Ukrainian people. Cabbage leaves are rolled with delicious pork stuffing and braised in a tomato sauce with onion and carrot. Golubtsi are a perfect dinner idea for a chilly fall evening,
they are hearty, satisfying and best of all, Frugal.
Slow Cooker Galubtsi
On a school night, leave these guys in the fridge. Have whoever comes home first put it in the slow cooker on high for 4 hours. This way the Golubtsi hot and ready to go for dinner.
How to make Galubtsi
You will need to bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. I use a 3-gallon stock pot with 1 tablespoon of Kosher Salt.
Cut the core from the cabbage carefully. I use a sharp paring knife to cut around the center, it should come out pretty quickly. If you’re having trouble, you can use a teaspoon to pry it out.
Place the cabbage in the boiling water and blanch for 3 minutes until the outer leaves start to loosen and easily come off. You want them pliable but not soft or overlooked.
On a busy school week or weekend, I love making Golubtsi in a slow cooker.
My Crock-Pot is my best friend, it’s so great to come home to a hot meal you don’t have to prepare on the spot after a long days work. The Crock-Pot works well for this recipe because the time-consuming part, rolling the cabbage, can be executed the night before.
Remove the cabbage after 3 minutes and separate as many leaves as you can peel off easily. When you reach the tougher inner leaves, place the cabbage back into the water and repeat the process until all the large leaves, 6 inches or more, are removed.
When the leaves are ready, remove the spines from the larger leaves >8 inches and trim the spines on the smaller leaves <8 inches. This process is done to make the cabbage leaves flat and be pliable. For smaller leaves, I like using a vegetable peeler. I fold the cabbage leaf in half to expose the spine and shave it down gently with a vegetable peeler until its 3/4 of the ways shaved down. Try to get the spine about the same thickness as the rest of the cabbage leaf.
Once the leaves are prepared, roll them like a burrito. Place two heaping tablespoons of pork filling in the center of a cabbage leaf and fold over two of the sides, one over the other. Next, fold over one of the remaining sides and roll the cabbage leaf like a burrito. If you end up with extra stuffing, roll it into meatballs and cook alongside the Galubtsi.
Now you have the optional step to brown the cabbage rolls in a skillet before packing them into a Crock-Pot, it’s not a necessary step but it does add an extra layer of flavor to the finished product. Top with the prepared sauce and 1 cup (1/2 can) water and go relax a while.
You can cook Golubtsi on high for 4 hours or low for 6. I usually make these up on Friday night and pop them in the slow cooker on Saturday morning. This was my Golubtsi are ready for lunch or early dinner after a day of activities. I don’t know about you, but after a busy school week and exhausting weekend activities, the last thing I want to do is slave in the kitchen on a Saturday afternoon.
Traditional Ukrainian Recipes
This recipe is a favorite from my childhood, my grandmother made incredible holubtsi. When I was little my grandparents lived on a small homestead, they had a small apple orchard, vegetable garden and they raised pigs. There would always be plenty of pork to cure, smoke, bake, and braise. Pork and cabbage are a perfect pairing, in my opinion, and this dinner recipe is an ideal showcase for these Ukrainian staples.
This traditional Ukrainian recipe is hearty, satisfying and best of all, Frugal. Serves 6 people for only $9.12 or $1.52 per serving!
Give it a shot Frugal Foodies and please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.