Connect with us

Wild Game Cooking

Golumpki, Polish Cabbage Rolls – How to Make Cabbage Rolls

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Polish cabbage rolls, also known as golumpki, or more accurately, gołąbki, are, like many “thing wrapped in other things,” comforting, easy, versatile and delicious.

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Golumpki are one of the few Polish dishes I grew up with; a few of my childhood friends were of Polish descent and their mom’s would make these. Italian stuffed shells, a pasta dish, was more common, but the two have a lot in common.

And while these are Polish cabbage rolls, stuffed cabbage is done really anywhere they grow cabbage — it’s a natural to roll up the big leaves with something good to eat inside. I also have a recipe for chou farci, a French version of cabbage rolls, on this site.

Since it’s been a long time since I lived in my childhood home, my recipe for golumpki is inspired by the many amazing ones in the equally amazing cookbook Polish Heritage Cookery by Robert and Maria Strybel.

They have a whole section on stuffed cabbage rolls, with all sorts of variations.


It’s actually pronounced kinda like it looks, “guh-WUMP-key,” and the name is derived from an old aristocratic dish of stuffed doves or pigeons. Modern golumpki are far from aristocratic, however.

Golumpki, sliced open to show the meat and barley inside.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Getting Started

Making golumpki takes some time, as does any dumpling-like dish. You need to make the filling, get the wrappers ready, in this case cabbage leaves, and then cook the finished rolls.

Start with the cabbage leaves. Using a paring knife, cut the base (core) out of a head of cabbage. Most golumpki recipes use regular cabbage, but there are recipes for both red cabbage and savoy cabbage in the Strybel’s book.

Bring a big pot of salty water to a boil, then put the coreless cabbage in. Cook it for about 10 minutes, only the final few of which will be in boiling water because adding the cabbage will drop the water temperature.

Set the cabbage to cool, core side up and move on to make the filling.

Golumpki Fillings

In short: Whatever you want. There are so many variations for the filling in cabbage rolls that it would make your head spin.

I’ve seen everything from fish and seafood to game, mushrooms — so many mushrooms! — rice with seasonings, and, most often, a combination of rice or some other grain and ground meat.

My recipe includes mushrooms, ground meat and barley, which is the second-most common grain you’ll see in golumpki recipes.

Folding Cabbage Rolls

Once you have your filling and cooked, cooled cabbage leaves, you’re ready to roll.

Carefully separate the leaves from the head of cabbage. The first couple will be large and raggedy. Use them to line your pot. Know that you will have golumpki of varying sizes because cabbage leaves get smaller closer to the core.

  • Cut out the base of the leaf, where it was attached to the core.
  • Smash the main rib of the leaf with the palm of your hand. This will help the cabbage roll lay flat.
  • Lay down some filling, anything from a couple tablespoons to a half cup depending on the leaf, perpendicular to the main rib of the leaf.
  • Fold the bottom up over the filling, then the two sides, then roll the leaf over the filling. Exactly the way you do with a burrito or a grape leaf.

Set each one seam side down in the pot.

Close up of Polish cabbage rolls in tomato sauce.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Cooking Golumpki

Not all Polish cabbage rolls are cooked in tomato sauce, but it seems that way. Many are cooked in cream sauces, mushroom sauces, even fish broth. But golumpki are best in a sauce, otherwise they can dry out a little.

I just do a very simple tomato sauce spiked with a little mushroom soaking water, vinegar, Maggi seasoning and salt. Don’t overthink the sauce.

Generally speaking, golumpki aren’t drowned in sauce. You want some on the bottom of the pot, some in between layers of cabbage rolls, then some on the top.

A word on those layers. Don’t do more than two, or else the bottom layer gets all janky. And put the smallest cabbage leaves on the top, over the last bit of sauce — this prevents the golumpki from scorching.

Bake, let them set a bit, then serve. You could serve Polish cabbage rolls with mashed or boiled potatoes, but I find that they are their own meal.

Other Polish Favorites

Polish cuisine is rich and varied. Here are a few other Polish dishes I love.

If you liked this recipe, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and a comment below; I’d love to hear how everything went. If you’re on Instagram, share a picture and tag me at huntgathercook.

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a few tablespoons of salt. Cut the core out of the cabbage and cook this in the boiling water for 10 minutes. remove and let it cool, cut side up.

  • In another pot, cook the barley in salted water until it’s about half cooked, about 15 minutes. Drain and reserve.


  • Meanwhile, make the filling. Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl and ladle a little of the hot water you’re cooking the cabbage in over them.

  • Cook the chopped onions in the butter over medium-high heat until they just begin to brown. Turn off the heat and move them to a large bowl to cool quickly.

  • Remove the mushrooms from the soaking water and squeeze excess water out of them. Chop them fine. Strain the soaking water through a paper towel to remove any debris and reserve a couple cups for the sauce.

  • Add the mushrooms to the bowl with the onions, and add the remaining filling ingredients. Mix well.


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Separate your cabbage leaves. Use the biggest outer leaves to line a heavy, lidded pot like a Dutch oven. Spread some sauce over that.

  • Set a leaf in front of you, main rib closest to you, curve of the leaf facing up. Cut the base of the rib out with a knife. Crush the rest of the rib with the palm of your hand.

  • Spoon some filling onto the leaf perpendicular to the rib. Compress it a bit. Fold the bottom of the leaf up, then the sides. Fold this over to seal, like a burrito or grape leaf. Set the cabbage roll in the pot. Repeat until you have a full layer in the pot.

  • Spread some sauce over this first layer, then finish with all the cabbage leaves large enough to make into a roll. Spread the rest of the sauce over this, then top with the littlest leaves. Cover the pot and bake in the oven for 90 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the pot sit for 30 minutes before serving.

I like to sprinkle some dried marjoram on top of the cabbage rolls. Black pepper is another good option. 

Calories: 407kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 857mg | Potassium: 976mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 538IU | Vitamin C: 56mg | Calcium: 135mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Source link: by Hank Shaw at

Continue Reading

Wild Game Cooking

Potted Shrimp Recipe – British Potted Shrimp

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

British potted shrimp are a classic appetizer, usually served on bread or crackers, that is easy to make, delicious and it keeps at least a week in the fridge. I make mine with tiny pink cocktail shrimp, which are one of the most sustainable shrimp you can buy. Easy and tasty!

British potted shrimp on slices of rye toast.

You can actually buy canned potted shrimp, but I’m not a fan. Better to make them from scratch. I love the recipe from the great book The British Cookbook by Ben Mervis, and this recipe is basically his.

The dish is popular in the north of England around Yorkshire, and is made there with what they call brown shrimp. Brown shrimp are cousins of the boreal shrimp we can get here in the United States.

Boreal shrimp, Pandalus borealis, are the tiny “cocktail” or “salad” shrimp you get precooked and preshelled, often frozen. They’re amazing for a recipe like potted shrimp, because their small size makes them good on bread or crackers.

You can buy these little pink shrimp — not to be confised with royal reds, or Key West pink shrimp, which are different — in most supermarkets in the freezer section. I got some from my friends over at E-fish.

A cool thing about these shrimp is that they are sustainably harvested in the US and Canada, so you can feel good about buying them.

Shelled and cooked pink salad shrimp in a bowl. Shelled and cooked pink salad shrimp in a bowl.

If you can’t find pink shrimp, use the smallest frozen shrimp you can find, ideally cooked and shelled, or you can buy larger shrimp and chop them roughly. The idea, as you can see from the picture, is an array of shrimps and butter on your bread.

Once you have your shrimp, it couldn’t be easier: They’re already cooked, so just let the shrimp swim in your spiced butter for a while, then either serve or “pot up” in a jar (I prefer glass Mason jars), with a layer of butter covering the shrimp and it will keep at least a week in the fridge. I’ve kept them for three weeks with no problem.

Serving and Storing Potted Shrimp

You can serve your potted shrimp cool, room temperature or warmed up. Each has its own thing going on. Cool, on hot toast, is fun because the heat of the toast melts the butter. I prefer to leave my shrimp out on the counter an hour, then toast the bread, so the cooler shrimp/butter mix melts fast and doesn’t chill your toast.

Some people prefer to warm the potted shrimp in a small pot before serving, but I don’t love this because the butter gets everywhere.

I urge you to serve your shrimp on good bread. (It’s homemade rye in the picture.) Good toast + potted shrimp = amazeballs. But crackers are OK, too, and I suppose you could serve these over rice or grits if you wanted to.

For storing, if you make sure that the top of the jar of shrimp is covered with butter, the potted shrimp will keep at least a week, and maybe a month at the most. It’ll mold if any shrimp are exposed.

If you liked this recipe, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and a comment below; I’d love to hear how everything went. If you’re on Instagram, share a picture and tag me at huntgathercook.

Source link: by Hank Shaw at

Continue Reading

Wild Game Cooking

Pasta Primavera Recipe – Classic Pasta Primavera

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Pasta primavera is an icon of my culinary childhood. My mom used to make it all the time, not just in spring, almost always with angel hair pasta. Here’s a walk down memory lane, with the original, 1970s recipe for this classic dish.

Two bowls of pasta primavera
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

There was a reason Mom made pasta primavera so often: She first ate this iconic dish at the legendary Manhattan restaurant Le Cirque back in the 1970s, and, when the New York Times printed the recipe in the early 1980s, she clipped it and pasta primavera became part of our family rotation thereafter.

I learned this recipe quickly, and it became a main part of Hank’s Date Night Dinners back when I was a student at Stony Brook University. Then, at some point, likely when I started working in professional kitchens myself, I stopped making pasta primavera.

So did everyone else, apparently. But this vegetable-filled fusion of French and Italian cuisine deserves to live again.

Pasta primavera is at its core a mix of spring vegetables, mushrooms and long pasta. I chose spaghetti here, because, well, while Mom preferred angel hair, I like a good spaghetti more. Angel hair, to my mind, requires less “stuff” in the sauce to really work.

What follows is, more or less, how Le Cirque made pasta primavera. It is mildly involved, but not overly so. I’ll also give you shortcuts for weeknights.

A bowl of pasta primaveraA bowl of pasta primavera
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

How to Make Pasta Primavera

First, you need to blanch your vegetables individually, so each is cooked al dente when they’re tossed in the pasta. The chefs at Le Cirque would toss the salted water after each vegetable, but that’s insane. Easier to get a big pot of salty water rolling and move your vegetables in and out as needed.

What vegetables? Broccoli or broccolini or broccoli raab are a must, as is asparagus. Fresh or frozen peas are vital, too. You could throw in some thin green beans, too. Garlic, plum tomatoes and herbs like basil and parsley are also traditional.

As are mushrooms. Regular button mushrooms are fine, but I use whatever fresh wild mushroom that happens to be popping at the moment. I used blewits in the pictures. Morels are another great choice.

After all your ingredients are ready, you finish your pasta primavera with lots of grated parmigiano cheese and yes, cream. Heavy cream, to be exact. This is not a low-fat dish. It’s a celebration of spring. Alas, pasta primavera does not keep well, although you can reheat it maybe once.

For some other fun spring pasta recipes, try my Ramp Pasta with Morels, Arugula Pesto with Pasta, or Linguine with White Clam Sauce.

  • Get a large pot of water boiling, then add enough salt to make it taste salty. Boil the asparagus spears for about 1 to 2 minutes, then remove and slice into bite-sized pieces. Boil the broccoli florets for about 3 minutes, remove and spread on a baking sheet to cool. If you are using green beans, boil them for about 2 to 3 minutes, then add them to the baking sheet. If you are using frozen peas, set them out to thaw. If fresh, boil them for 1 minute, then move to the baking sheet.

  • When this is done, dump the water from the pot and refill it to boil the pasta. You’ll need to add more salt, too. You don’t want to use the vegetable water for the pasta because it’ll give it an off taste. Cook the pasta until it’s almost done — just a shade too much al dente to enjoy, but still mostly cooked.

  • Meanwhile, get a large saute pan hot and add the olive oil and sliced mushrooms. Toss to combine and sear the mushrooms over high heat. Sprinkle salt over them now. You want them to release their water. When that water has mostly boiled away, move to the next step.

  • Add the butter, red pepper flakes, garlic and tomatoes and toss to combine. Cook this with the mushrooms for 2 minutes, then add all the vegetables and toss to combine. Pour in the chicken broth and get this boiling.

  • To finish, add the herbs, pasta, grated cheese and half the cream. Toss to combine well, and add the rest of the cream if the sauce looks dry. Grate lots of black pepper over everything and serve.

Calories: 526kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 219mg | Potassium: 659mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1878IU | Vitamin C: 50mg | Calcium: 165mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Source link: by Hank Shaw at

Continue Reading

Wild Game Cooking

Wild Rice Hotdish Recipe – Wild Rice Casserole

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Can you get any more Minnesota than wild rice hotdish? Pretty sure you can’t. This easy comfort food casserole is a hat tip to the North Star State, and can be made “wilder” with venison and wild mushrooms.

A casserole dish of wild rice hotdish.

This is a casserole — hotdish in Minnesota parlance — that isn’t bound with eggs, so it’ll be a touch sloppy, er, freeform, when you dish it out on plates. If this bothers you, you can add a couple of beaten eggs to it.

The wild rice is your starch here, but even so it’s a lot lighter than, say, the pasta in my sauerkraut casserole or my venison tater tot hotdish.

Mushrooms and wild rice are a classic combination, and I used wild ones I gathered in Northern Minnesota here, but really any mushroom will do. I prefer using fresh or thawed ones I’d previously cooked over rehydrated dried mushrooms, but either works.

Meat in Wild Rice Hotdish

This is not a vegetarian wild rice hotdish: I use both sausage and bacon in it. But you can skip both if you want to make is vegetarian. My advice here would be to double the amount of mushrooms.

What meat is up to you. I do really like frying bacon, then using the fat to cook the rest of the vegetables, then chopping the bacon — after eating a piece, duh — for the topping. So unless you have a moral objection to bacon, use it.

I prefer a basic venison sausage for wild rice hotdish because venison + wild rice + wild mushrooms really speaks to Minnesota, where this dish originates. But any good, mild link will do. Don’t use anything too spicy or bold, because the sausage plays backup here.

You could also use straight up ground venison, or any other ground meat. Another route would be to use leftover slow-cooked venison, like leftover venison neck roast. Leftover beef pot roast, chopped, is another good option. Same with chopped BBQ brisket.

A plate of wild rice hotdish ready to eat. A plate of wild rice hotdish ready to eat.

Wild Rice CHoices

Unlike most of my wild rice recipes, wild rice hotdish doesn’t need to have the real-deal, truly wild wild rice. It is of course better with the real stuff, but it’s not strictly needed.

Regular, farmed, inky black wild rice is fine. So is broken grain. You cook the wild rice before it goes into the casserole, so the main difference is that the farmed wild rice takes a lot longer to cook.

Serving and Storing

I like to serve a wild rice hotdish with a simple green salad. This isn’t a gut bomb like many other casseroles, but it is still a little light on greenery.

The finished casserole keeps a week in the fridge, and freezes well. To reheat, either pop the whole dish in the oven at 300°F for 30 minutes, or, because it’s not a tight, set casserole, you can spoon some into a pan and heat it up on the stovetop.

If you do this, fold in some scrambled eggs for a killer breakfast!

If you liked this recipe, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and a comment below; I’d love to hear how everything went. If you’re on Instagram, share a picture and tag me at huntgathercook.

  • Fry the bacon in a pan until crispy. Eat a piece. Chop the rest. Pour off all but about 3 tablespoons of the fat (save it for another dish). Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  • Saute the sausage, onion and celery in the bacon fat until the vegetables are soft and everything is just beginning to brown. While it’s all cooking, use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the water chestnuts and wild rice and mix well.

  • Turn off the heat and mix in cream of celery soup, herbs and half the cheese.

  • Butter a casserole dish; a 9×13 should work fine here. Pack the contents of the pan into the casserole, and top it with the chopped bacon and the rest of the cheese. Bake for 1 hour, or until the cheese is nicely melted and starting to brown — check it at 45 minutes.

  • Four cups cooked wild rice is generally 1 heaping cup of dry wild rice. 
  • Any fresh mushroom you like will work here: buttons, chanterelles, morels, you name it. 
  • You can use any mild sausage. Brats are a good choice, as is sweet Italian sausage or Polish sausages. Nothing too strongly flavored. 
  • If you want to use a different meat, ground venison, beef or turkey works well, as does leftover brisket or pot roast, chopped roughly. 

Calories: 476kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 814mg | Potassium: 637mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 272IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 170mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Source link: by Hank Shaw at

Continue Reading

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Join our subscribers list to get the latest news, updates and special offers delivered directly in your inbox.