Goluptchiki (Stuffed Cabbage Rolls)

A few weeks ago I posted tifteli and I promised that I would post Goluptsi. In my family we always called them Goluptchiki. The way my mom made goluptchiki, is the tifteli ingredients are what the stuffing for the cabbage is for goluptchiki. I would have to say that goluptsi is one of my favorite Russian/ Ukrainian foods. Right next to Borscht and Oliviye. Goluptsi just like borcht is made completely different by different people and I’m picky about whose I will eat. I absolutely love the way my mom makes them. She makes them very flavorful, very moist and super tiny, bite size even. I know that some people make them super large, meal size and my mother in law makes stuffed grape leaves. I am posting the recipe that my mom gave me and I attempted to make them just like hers. She has many more years experience making them, and I have made them maybe three times in my life. My dad got to try them and according to him they taste just like my moms! He’s so sweet.

This is a very time consuming recipe so you need to have plenty of time to make these. Also one head of cabbage will make a huge pot full of goluptsi. They make great next day leftovers (just reheat in the microwave). Or freeze them and enjoy some other day.

Ingredients:

-1 large head of cabbage

-1 1/4 cup white rice

-2 lb Ground meat of choice (I used 1lb ground turkey and 1lb lean ground beef)

-2 Small onions (1 roughly chopped, 1 grated)

-3 Medium carrots grated

-Salt (4 tsp or to taste. It may seem like a lot of salt but remember that there are 2 lb of meat that needs to be salted)

-Pepper (1 tsp or to taste)

-1/4 Tsp Chili powder

-4 Tbsp ketchup

-Water

-1 Can petite diced tomatoes

Note: If you read my tifteli recipe you will notice that it requires only 1 lb of ground meat. I increased the amount for goluptsi to 2 lb and increased the rice and spices accordingly. You can still use the exact recipe for tifteli for the goluptsi stuffing but will have to use a small head of lettuce or half of a large one.)

What to do:

Cook rice according to package directions. Make sure to keep the rice a little undercooked. Set aside and let cool.

Use a large pot. Fill with water and heat until boiling. Add a few pinches of salt.

Take the cabbage and remove the stem with a knife. Peel away the first couple leaves of the cabbage on the outside. Place the cabbage into the water and let it simmer. Keep an eye on the cabbage. You will notice the outside leaves getting softer. Start peeling them off. When the cabbage leaves are soft enough that you can roll them remove them, place on a platter and let them cool. Continue doing the same thing with the rest of the cabbage.

Cabbage leaves cooling

While the cabbage leaves cool, combine the cooled rice, ground meat, grated onion, 2 grated carrots, salt, pepper, chili powder, and 2 tbs ketchup. Make sure to fold in all the ingredients gently.

Cut the large cabbage leaves in half removing the thick stem. My cabbage was so large I was able to cut the large leaves into three. Of course I was making super tiny golupchiki. You can even use the entire cabbage leave whole just make sure to “shave” down or cut down the stem so that it is easier to roll.

Take the cabbage leave in your hand. Place the desired amount of meat/ rice stuffing. In my case it was about 2-3 tbs.

Take one end and roll it to the other end. Make a fist while gently holding the golupchik in your hand and stuff the loose ends inside.

Continue until all the stuffing is gone or all the cabbage leaves have been stuffed. Keep a few leaves to line the cooking pot. When using the little cabbage leaves just cut down the stem and use the entire leaf. If you have stuffing left over just roll it up into a ball and cook it with the goluptsi, it’s a tiftel now.

Line a large pot with the cabbage leaves you set aside. This is to keep the bottom goluptsi from burning. This is just a precaution and you don’t have to do it if you want to use all the leaves for golupchiki.

Place the golupchiki in one layer. Sprinkle with some grated carrots and onions. Continue with second layer of golupchiki, carrots and onion. When all the golupchiki are in the pot cover with the rest of the ketchup and can of diced tomatoes. Here you can use whatever amount of ketchup and diced tomatoes you would like. It will all cook down and create a nice sauce. Pour enough water into the pot to almost cover the goluptsi.

Heat on high to reach a boil. Turn heat down to medium. Cover and cook for 1 hour. After an hour check on the golutsi. The meat should be completely cooked and the cabbage is easily and effortlessly sliced through. Everyone has a different pot and different stove top so cooking time will vary. It could take up to two hours.

They are so delicious! I enjoy them as a main dish with a side of salad and my husband covers them in sour cream. You can do whatever you like!

Enjoy!

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