Galumpkis (sometimes called "pigs in a blanket") are a stuffed cabbage roll that I remember eating as a kid. I had not eaten galumpkis in many years, but was inspired to cook up a batch recently when I bought a large head of cabbage at the farmer's market along with some grass-fed organic ground beef. I remember them being rather simple in taste - beef, onions, rice, cabbage, tomatoes... I don't remember much spice or herbs in these rolls, but I remember they were always a hit. As I picked up a couple old cookbooks I have to see what I could find, I found a piece of paper in one that had a galumpki recipe hand-written on it by my husband's grandfather - I mean, I turned right to it. The recipe wasn't very detailed, but I used it as a reference for the one below. Of course, I added more flavorings to my version and they were delicious as I remembered.
I wanted to make enough for two meals for us (one dinner and then leftovers for lunches), so I used only one pound of ground beef and the mixture stuffed six large cabbage leaves. I'll say that this recipe will make about six to eight rolls, depending on your cabbage leaves. I did not parboil my cabbage leaves because they were really fresh and tender. However, if your cabbage leaves seem to be tough, it would be a good idea to parboil the leaves and let them cool and dry before stuffing them.
approximately 6 to 8 large, tender cabbage leaves
olive oil for cooking
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1-1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup cooked white rice
sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoons minced parsley, optional
16 oz can tomato sauce
Remove the damaged outer/tough leaves from the cabbage. Carefully remove about six to eight tender leaves, trying not to rip them. Using a knife, cut out the core on each leaf in a triangular shape. Rinse and set aside (unless you are parboiling, then boil them quickly and set aside to dry).
In a large skillet, warm about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook until browned and cooked through, stirring occasionally. Drain the beef and set aside on a plate. Add a little more olive oil to the skillet and add the onion. Cook until it becomes translucent, stirring often. Add the garlic and return the beef to the skillet. Add the tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce. Stir and cook for about two minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the rice. Stir well and taste for seasoning. Stir in parsley if using. Remove from heat and let the mixture begin to cool.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wipe a large baking dish with some olive oil (or use cooking spray). Spread a couple of tablespoons of tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish. Take each cabbage leaf and place about 1/3 cup of the mixture inside (use your judgement to get a good ratio of cabbage to filling). Roll up pretty tightly and place in the baking dish. Continue until all the mixture is used.
Top with the remaining tomato sauce. Cover with foil and place in the oven. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until the leaves are fork tender and the sauce is bubbling. You may also freeze them before cooking, or refrigerate for a couple of days to make for a weeknight dinner.
What was I cooking one year ago?: shrimp etoufee and shiitake hazelnut pate