Cabbage Rolls (Golabki) and a family reunion


I have just recently made contact with my Nanna after 27 years, the last time I saw her I was 10 years old…..I know a long long time. Seeing my Nanna after so many years was both exciting and nerve racking, so many emotions rushing through me. Hubby and kids came with me, I proudly got to introduce her to her great grandchildren and my fabulous hubby, so many years of lost contact, but still we are family, and there is something very special about family. Family is something you belong to, part of who you are, where you have come from and it gives you a sense of worth. It is nice to know you belong somewhere, are a part of something.


My Nanna is an immigrant from Germany and she told us her story of coming to Australia with my Pop who sadly passed away 5 years ago. She told us some lovely stories, one I especially loved was about her and my pop (who is Polish) meeting  during the war, a real love story. She is a sweet, lovely, kind strong and independent woman and at the amazing age of 90 still living on her own.

I have some early childhood memories of my Nanna, I remember Mum taking my sister and I to her cute little cottage to see her and Pop. Every time we visited my Nanna would always make Cabbage rolls, potato salad and cucumber salad, I loved it and it was one of my favourite meals and nobody could make it like Nanna.IMG_1350

After seeing my Nanna I of course had to make Cabbage Rolls, now unfortunately I do not have her recipe, and although it was not exactly the same it was still delicious.

I find it amazing how foods, tastes and smells can bring back memories and feelings. When I was eating this meal if I closed my eyes I could see myself sitting at her kitchen table, I could hear the chatter between my mum and Nanna, the chickens clucking outside, I can see my pop in his overalls sitting opposite me calling me his little munchkin. Nice memories they bring a smile to my face and warm my heart.


So having shared all this with I will now share my cabbage rolls, which I have adapted from several different recipes on the internet.


  • 1 large savoy cabbage
  • 1/4 cup rice
  • 1 Tsp oil
  • 11/2 Tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, leaves removed from stems and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 250g pork mince
  • 250g beef mince
  • 1 bottle passata
  • 1 tsp hot paprika (optional)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed


  1. bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil over medium high heat
  2. add cabbage and simmer for 5 minutes, then turn cabbage over and simmer for another 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for 10 minutes, using a slotted spoon carefully remove cabbage from saucepan and let cool
  3. heat oil in fry pan over medium-low heat gently sauté onion, once onion is soft add garlic,sauté for 1-2 minutes
  4. add paprika, thyme, rice, pork and beef mince ,using a wooden spoon breaking up the lumps as you go cook until mince is brown
  5. season to taste with salt and pepper
  6. gently remove leaves from the cabbage
  7. place 1 leaf on work bench, using a sharp knife remove the thickest part of the stem
  8. place 1-2 Tsp of mince mixture onto cabbage leaf, fold in ends and roll up firmly to enclose filling, repeat with remaining leaves
  9. heat oil in a large saucepan add garlic and paprikas and sauté for 1-2 minutes
  10. add passata, stir to combine and season to taste
  11. gently place cabbage rolls in sauce seam side down, cover with lid and simmer gently for 40 minutes, checking occasionally making sure sauce is not sticking



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2 thoughts on “Cabbage Rolls (Golabki) and a family reunion

  1. BRENDA BENOIT July 28, 2013 at 11:54 pm Reply

    Cabbage Rolls are one of my favorites. Loving the recipe.

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