Pigs in a Blanket

26 Jan

Gołąbki…Cabbage Rolls…Pigs in a Blanket…

golabkiMy family always called them pigs in a blanket. Probably about 10 years straight I would go to grandmas house to make this traditional polish dish. She had this process down to a science and would make at least a roaster stuffed full every time. We would spend all day chopping, mixing, rolling, waiting, then packaging up enough to send plenty home to each of her kids and grand kids. Don’t worry, I’ve decreased the recipe quite a bit so you won’t need to go buy 6 heads of cabbage.

Ingredients:
1 large head of cabbage, cored
1 Hungarian wax pepper, seeded and chopped into large pieces
a few cloves (6 or so?) of peeled garlic
1 medium onion chopped and sauteed
1 cup cooked rice (we normally prepared this the day before to save time)
1/2 cup quick barley
2 lbs ground beef
1 lb ground pork
2 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp hot Hungarian paprika
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp seasoning salt
Pigs in a Blanket
1 can condensed tomato soup
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce

Preparation:
Fill a pot (large enough to hold the head of cabbage) with enough water to cover the cabbage and cook over medium heat covered. You want to cook the cabbage until it is starting to get translucent and flexible. The cabbage will continue to cook after being rolled so be sure not to overcook it. The outer leaves will loosen first. Once flexible and removed from the head, remove the leaves from the pot and allow to cool. Continue this step until the leaves get too small to roll. The smallest leaves from the center of the cabbage should be chopped and 1/2 should be laid in the bottom of the roasting pan or baking dish along with the garlic cloves and peppers. Once cool, carefully trim the large veins of the cabbage leaves.

Mix the beef, pork, onions, rice, barley, and seasonings together in a large bowl.

In another large bowl combine the tomato ingredients.

Assembly
Lay the cabbage leaf on a flat surface. Get enough meat (generally about 1/2 a cup for a larger leaf) and form into an oblong log. Place the log near the top of the leaf where the vein used to be. Fold in the edges of the cabbage leaf in and roll the rest of the leaf around the log. Place the roll, bottom side (or opening side) down in your roasting pan or baking dish.  Continue this step until all of the cabbage and meat has been used.

Poor the tomato mixture over the top of the pigs and top with any extra cabbage, garlic, Hungarian peppers, salt and pepper.

If you are layering the cabbage rolls, separate the layers with the extra cabbage, garlic, Hungarian peppers, salt and pepper.

My grandma always used a roaster because she was cooking so many. We’d put the roaster at about 350 for the first 2 hours or so, then turn it down to 200 for about 2 hours longer.

I didn’t have a roaster so I lined them up in my slow cooker. I set it on high for the first 3 hours then on low for the last 1 hour.

It’s a time consuming dish, but it’s worth it!
ENJOY!

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