Gol/abki are one of the most popular, simple and very tasty dishes on the Polish table. They are seasoned differently in different regions, but the principle remains the same: the farce [(stuffing)] is rolled up in cabbage leaves. The inexpensive and delicious gol/abki may be prepared in somewhat larger quantities, since they are even better when reheated in a pot or refried in butter or lard.
Cut out the cabbage stump deeply, then place the head of the cabbage (it should not be too firm) into boiling water and cook for 15-20 minutes. When it cools a little, gently divide into individual leaves. Set aside the four outer leaves, as they are too hard and usually damaged, and use them for lining the pot.
Gol/abki with Rice and Mushrooms
In a large amount of salted water cook 8-10 oz. rice until almost tender, rinse with cold water and drain on a sieve. Cook 2 oz. dried mushrooms and chop finely, reserving the stock. Chop finely 2 medium onions and brown lightly in 2 oz. butter (or lard). Mix the above mentioned ingredients, add salt and pepper to taste. 1 whole raw egg may also be added, in which case the stuffing will be firmer.
Place the farce on each cabbage leaf (pound the thick, main "nerve" of the leaf with a knife handle lightly, which makes rolling up easier), fold the edges of the leaf over the farce and roll up the gol/abek tightly.
Roll up the gol/abki tightly in a stoneware or thick enameled pot, which has been lined with cabbage leaves. Pour salted mushroom stock over them, add some boiling water so that the gol/abki are barely covered with liquid, cover the pot and bake the gol/abki in an oven. Instead of the stock, rye borsch (zur) may be used over the gol/abki. The stock may then be used for making the sauce (flour browned in butter with soured cream) which is served with the baked gol/abki.
Gol/abki are tastiest when baked a day ahead (in an oven) and quickly reheated in the same pot the next day. Gol/abki with mushrooms and rice are sometimes served as a Christmas dish.
Gol/abki with Rice and Meat
Cook 8-10 oz. rice as in the recipe above. Mushrooms may be added, but they are not necessary. Grind 10 oz. cooked pork and add to the rice with 1 large onion, simmered in 2 oz. butter (lard) and, if desired, 1 raw egg.
Proceed as in the recipe above.
Note: instead of pork, 10 oz. ground kiel/basa or finely chopped ham may be added to the rice. The baked gol/abki may be fried in pork fat if desired and sprinkled with the melted fat and cracklings. Separately, mushroom sauce may be served with them, or a concentrated tomato sauce.
Gol/abki Country Style
In the older days, in the villages especially, whole heads of sauerkraut were used in making gol/abki. Today sauerkraut made of whole cabbages is very rare, so that country-style gol/abki are also rolled up in sweet cabbage leaves.
Grate finely 2 lbs. raw, peeled potatoes and when they let out their juice, pour it away, adding 14 oz. cooked and mashed potatoes to the raw potatoes, 2 finely chopped onions simmered in 2-3 oz. lard, 2 oz. raw buckwheat kasha and salt and pepper to taste. Mix the farce thoroughly, place on cabbage leaves, roll up and arrange the gol/abki tightly in a pot. Pour salted water over them, cook over low heat for 15 minutes and bake, covered, in an oven.
Refry in lard the following day. This authentically peasant inexpensive version of gol/abki is delicious.