Polish Golabki (Stuffed Cabbage Rolls)

I've made cabbage rolls once before, remember my Croatian Posna Sarma? You probably don't, because it was quite a long time ago (and look at how awful my photos were back then!). These Polish Golabki are similar but different - like the posna sarma they're stuffed with a tasty mixture of rice and vegetables, but they're smothered this time in creamy dill and mushroom sauce. They're actually pretty different in taste!

While you indulge your senses with this great recipe, guess what I'll be doing? I'll be exploring Legoland and then driving to see the Tollund Man! I've been looking forward to visiting the Tollund Man ever since I studied Seamus Heaney's poetry in high school. Have you read the Seamus Heaney poem about the Tollund Man? I love it, so I'll share it here with you:

Some day I will go to Aarhus
To see his peat-brown head,
The mild pods of his eye-lids,
His pointed skin cap.

In the flat country near by
Where they dug him out,
His last gruel of winter seeds
Caked in his stomach,

Naked except for
The cap, noose and girdle,
I will stand a long time.
Bridegroom to the goddess,

She tightened her torc on him
And opened her fen,
Those dark juices working
Him to a saint's kept body,

Trove of the turfcutters'
Honeycombed workings.
Now his stained face
Reposes at Aarhus.

I could risk blasphemy,
Consecrate the cauldron bog
Our holy ground and pray
Him to make germinate

The scattered, ambushed
Flesh of labourers,
Stockinged corpses
Laid out in the farmyards,

Tell-tale skin and teeth
Flecking the sleepers
Of four young brothers, trailed
For miles along the lines.

Something of his sad freedom
As he rode the tumbril
Should come to me, driving,
Saying the names

Tollund, Grauballe, Nebelgard,

Watching the pointing hands
Of country people,
Not knowing their tongue.

Out here in Jutland
In the old man-killing parishes
I will feel lost,
Unhappy and at home.

1 whole green cabbage

2 tbsp oil
1 onion, finely diced
400g mushrooms, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup sauerkraut
1 tbsp fresh dill
Salt and pepper to taste

300g mushrooms, chopped and washed
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup vegan sour cream
1 tbsp chopped dill
salt and pepper to taste

To Make:
1. Preheat the oven to about 180 degrees celcius.
2. Heat oil in a large saucepan or frypan and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the mushrooms and chopped tomato and cook for s further 3-4 minutes, until the mushrooms are cooked.
3. Add the rice, sauerkraut, dill and season with salt and pepper. Stir well to combine and heat through. Then set aside for later. 
4. Meanwhile, pull the tough outer leaves off the cabbage and discard. Wash thoroughly and steam the whole cabbage for 10 minutes or so until the outer leaves are softened and easier to pull away.
5. Remove as many of the outer leaves as you can (until you reach the inner parts which are not as well cooked) and then put the rest of the cabbage back in the steamer for another 5 mins so that you can remove more of the leaves.
6.  Cut the thick stems out of the cabbage leaves and begin rolling. Add about 2 tablespoons of rice mix to the edge of the cabbage leaf and roll over once. Fold in both of the edges and then continue rolling to the end. Put aside. Keep going until you use up the rice filling (or you have to stop because your dish isn't going to be big enough for all of them.

7. Place your rolls in a big baking dish, tucking them in close to hold them together.
8. To make the sauce, place the mushrooms with a couple of tablespoons of water in a small saucepan over a medium heat until cooked. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Then remove from the heat and stir through the sour cream and dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and then pour the sauce all over your cabbage rolls.
9. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Garnish with fresh dill and then serve.

Serves 6  - Makes about 12 cabbage rolls. You'll also have some leftover cabbage to chop up and use in another meal.

This month I'm featuring lots of delicious food from Poland.
Check out my other Polish recipe posts:

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