cabbage rolls

Grandma Reg’s Golabki (Stuffed Cabbage Rolls)

Travel editor Lynda Twardowski’s grandmother, Regina Twardowski (born and raised in the Polish enclave of Hamtramck, Michigan) has quite a few tricks up her sleeve when it comes to creating her delectable, savory cabbage rolls.


  • 3/4 of a yellow onion, chopped fine
  • 1 red pepper, 1/4 chopped fine, 3/4 sliced
  • olive oil
  • pat of butter
  • 2 1/2 pounds ground round
  • 1 pound ground pork (not pork sausage)
  • 1/4 cup rice, cooked halfway
  • 1 6-ounce can can Dawn Fresh mushroom steak sauce
  • 1 package Lipton onion soup
  • 3/4 cup Progresso Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon chili sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • Garlic pepper to taste
  • 4 cans tomato soup
  • Celery, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 heads cabbage, cores removed


Set large pot of water to boil. In small pan on medium-low heat, sauté onion and finely chopped red pepper in olive oil and butter. In large mixing bowl, add meats, rice, steak sauce, onion soup mix, breadcrumbs, chili sauce, Worcestershire, salt, and garlic pepper, mixing with hands until fully blended. When water boils, drop in first cabbage head. When top leaves begin to pull away (3 to 5 minutes), use tongs or fork to remove leaves. Gently pile leaves in colander to drain and cool. Repeat with other heads. Preheat oven to 400°F. Using a paring knife shave the rigid top of each leaf’s rib, then roll egg-sized amount of meat into an oblong shape and, rolling from rib bottom to top of leaf, roll up meat in the cabbage, folding in sides of cabbage tightly as you go. Secure with toothpick. Mix 1 can tomato soup and 3/4 can of water into bottom of roasting pan and add layer of rolled cabbage, a few pieces of celery and red pepper slices, then add a second can of undiluted soup, cabbage rolls, red pepper and celery, continuing this layered pattern until pan is almost full. Roast for two hours (first 30 minutes at 400°F, then reduce oven temp to 350°F), or until the meat is no longer pink, and the soup has reduced to a rich tomato gravy. This recipe will fill at least one roasting pan or Dutch oven, depending on the size of your pan. If two batches are required, refrigerate rolled but uncooked golobki while the first batch is baking; then repeat layering process with remaining cans of tomato soup and bake. This makes for quite an afternoon project, but know that the end result freezes wonderfully, and can be reheated on low in the crock pot.

Photo(s) by Todd Zawistowski