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Today another polish dish called gołąbki (literally pigeons) or cabbage rolls.  According to Wikipedia there is an unverified story or myth that the Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland Casimir IV Jagiellon fed his army with gołąbki before a key battle of the Thirteen Years’ War outside of Marienburg Castle (Malbork) against the Teutonic Order around 1465. Polish rumor has it, that victory over the Teutonic Order was partially credited to strength of the hearty meal of gołąbki given to the allied Polish and Prussian troops. The castle was not conquered, though, but turned over later.  Whether it’s a myth or not, I really like this dish. My mom makes it with minced meat and rice but one can also add mushrooms to the mix.


Ingredients:

1 white cabbage   (at least 15 cm diameter)

350-400 g minced meat (beef or pork)

1 ¼ cups of rice

1 big onion

salt, pepper, paprika

1 cube of chicken stock

tomato concentrate

Put the cabbage in hot, boiling water for few minutes and then peel off the leaves one by one (put aside the torn up ones, use them for lining the bottom of the pot in which cabbage rolls will be cooked). If the leaves get harder and whiter after peeling some, put it again in a hot water for few minutes.

After gathering at least 10-15 leaves,  cut off the thick part of central vein to make them more elastic for folding later (see the picture below).

While preparing cabbage, boil the rice according to the producer’s tips. Rinse it with water after and add to the minced meat. Fry the onion in the oil till golden and add it to the rice/meat mixture. Add as many spices as desired.  You can start preparing the rolls. See the pictures below.

To prevent rolls from opening, use some thread.

After placing the rolls in the pot , add water and the cube of chicken stock. Boil it till soft. Meantime prepare the tomato sauce with water, tomato concentrate and some spices (regular tomato sauce is also fine). Place the rolls in the sauce and let it boil for few more minutes.

Serve hot with bread, potatoes or just on their own. Enjoy!

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