“golumpkis” – stuffed cabbage (can be made paleo)

My grandmom used to make these and they were the absolute best.  I haven’t recreated hers exactly, but these are pretty delicious if I do say so myself.  And who doesn’t love a good golumpki video?!  Uhhh, don’t answer that…


Polish “Golumpkis” (Stuffed Cabbage)

Serves 4-6


  • 1 head cabbage
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1, 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 1-2 cups free-range organic chicken broth
  • 1-2 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon raw cane sugar

*as an alternative, you could use tomato soup (omit vinegar and sugar) if you are really in a pinch.

Filling for the rolls:

  • 1/4 cup pastured, unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1.5 pounds ground venison (or other ground red meat)
  • 2/3 cup dry white rice (I used basmati – do not use quick cooking rice)**
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped almonds (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped raisins (optional)


1. Heat oven to 350°F.  Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Core the end of the cabbage (but keep it as a whole head) and boil for about 10 minutes, or until leaves are soft and begin falling off.  Remove from water, drain and let cool.

2. Saute butter and olive oil on medium-low heat.  Add 1/2 diced onion and garlic and cook about 5 minutes.  Turn off heat, add additional filling spices, mix and let cool.

3. In a large bowl, combine butter, onion and spices mixture with the ground venison, rice and rest of the filling ingredients.

4. Line a dutch oven (or baking dish) with the large, outer leaves (de-rib them).  Split filling into about 8 equal balls and roll into cabbage leaves.  I de-rib those as well.

5. Place rolls on flat layer of cabbage, cover with the remaining 1/2 raw onion and bay leaves, then cover with an additional layer of cabbage leaves and sprinkle of sea salt and pepper.  Add tomatoes, broth, water, apple cider vinegar and sugar.

6. Cover and cook in oven for about 1.5 hours, then let sit an additional 30 minutes outside of the oven, still covered.

**To make 100% paleo, omit the rice.

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