Unstuffed cabbage rolls, Russian Galumpkis

Deb Crane


Both of my Grandmothers had different recipes for Galumpkis. One was a Hungarian type and this one is the Russian type. Both recipes, I grew up on. Both are equally delicious and very different. This Russian recipe my Mom adapted so as not to have to stuff each leaf of cabbage. Ever since Mom unstuffed them, we have been making them this way for many years. An old family favorite that will be passed down from generation to generation. We call them Porcupine meat balls!


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head of cabbage, diced how you like it.
46 oz
tomato sauce or v-8 juice or tomato juice (see note)
3 lb
ground beef
2 c
regular rice
soy sauce (about 8 shakes or so)
black pepper to taste
onion powder to taste
garlic powder to taste
bay leaves, dried
1 c
ketchup (more to taste)

How to Make Unstuffed cabbage rolls, Russian Galumpkis


  • 1Start by cutting up your cabbage. You can make chunks,slices, whatever you feel like at the moment. Place it in a large sauce pan. Take half of your tomato juice or sauce, and pour it over the cabbage. Bring to a boil and then simmer for at least 15 minutes to reduce the cabbage and give you room for the porcupine balls.
  • 2While the cabbage simmers, mix the meat ball mixture.
    In a large bowl, mix the ground beef,eggs,soy sauce,pepper,onion powder, garlic powder and the rice. Mush it up with your hands and blend it all very well.
    Form this into meatballs by rolling a palm full in your hands.
  • 3After the cabbage is reduced and you have room in the pot, put the balls right on top of the cabbage. Add your 4 bay leaves and the rest of your tomato sauce or V-8 or tomato juice.
    Bring back to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for about 50 minutes to an hour. They are done when the rice if fully cooked.
  • 4NOTES: Mom used tomato sauce. I tried them with V-8 juice and they are good too. My Mom didnt use as much sauce/juice as I do now. I added more liquid due to the fact that the rice sucks it all up.
    The following day, you can add more sauce and ketchup because you will find that those thirsty meat balls sucked it all up again. Either that, or you can leave them and add more ketchup on top before reheating.

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About Unstuffed cabbage rolls, Russian Galumpkis

Course/Dish: Beef
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: Polish
Other Tag: Heirloom

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