Saturday, 12 October 2013

Golubtsy in tomato sauce (15 minutes of fame competition)

To celebrate the launch of the Andy Warhol inspired limited edition Campbell's Tomato soup cans, Campbell's invited the bloggers to create a recipe using Campbell's condensed tomato soup for their 15 minutes of fame competition. 
I decided to take Warhol's soup on a trip to Russia and play with one of my favourite Russian dishes - Golubtsy (lit. little pigeons in Russian), which is one of the most popular comfort foods throughout the ex-Soviet countries.

Russian recipes

Golubtsy (cabbage envelopes stuffed with meat and rice)
300g minced pork
1 medium carrot, grated
1 finely chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
300g minced pork 
a handful of fresh herbs - chives, thime, sage, rosemary
salt, pepper
1 big cabbage (white & round)
250g cooked basmati rice (I used Tilda Barbecue basmati rice)
80g butter

For the sauce:
1 can of Campbell's cream of tomato soup
5 heaped tbs of Greek style yogurt (for example, Chobani plain yogurt)

Fry the minced pork for about 10 minutes with the chopped garlic, onion, grated carrot. Season well with salt and pepper. Add the fresh herbs (either chop them or snip with scissors) and cook for another couple of minutes. Leave the mince to cool.

In the meantime prepare the cabbage. Place the cabbage in the salted hot boiling water for 5 minutes, then take it out, dip in cold water and remove the leaves carefully, try not to tear them. If the inner leaves are sitting too tight, place the cabbage back in the boiling salted water for another 5 minutes. Once you have a stash of leaves, put them all, one by one back in the pot and cook for about 2 minutes. Cook in batches, don't overcrowd the pot. Take them out of the water and drain in the colander.
Each cabbage leaf will be your envelope where you put the stuffing. Flatten each leaf and depending on the size of the leaf place 1+ tbsp of the stuffing. Fold the cabbage leaf like an envelope. If it is not big enough and doesn't want to stay put as a pocket, you might use the cotton thread to wrap around the envelope to keep it together while cooking.
The next step: melt 1 tbsp of butter in the frying pan and fry the golubtsy for about 2-3 mins on each side.

Take a deep ceramic or glass oven dish and put all the stuffed cabbage envelopes together. You might need more than one dish. I had enough stuffed pockets for two of these dishes. One was cooked for dinner, the other went in the freezer. If you are cooking for a bigger family and want to cook all the golubtsy at once, double the amount of the sauce, i.e. use 2 tomato soup cans.

Golubtsy before the sauce is added

It is best to use the white round cabbage, and not the pointy variety, as it would be tricky to make envelopes with it. A green round cabbage is also fine (in fact that's the one I used yesterday) but its leaves are less sturdy.
For the sauce mix a can of condensed tomato soup with the plain yogurt (or soured cream), add a bit of water to make it less condensed and pour over the golubtsy.

Place the dish in the oven preheated to 180C and cook for about 30-35 minutes.
Remove the cotton thread before serving.
Serve hot with a chunk of good bread.

I haven't used the tomato soup in this recipe before, but after I tried it yesterday, I asked myself, why haven't I thought of it before. It works as a wonderful sauce. A really tasty dish, even my dear husband who is difficult to please, said how good it was. 

Russian food

If you are curious to read what the other bloggers cooked for the challenge, check out their blogs
Italian Chicken from Dragons and Fairy Dust
Goat's Cheese & Chorizo Pasta Bake from Madhouse Family Reviews

And here is my and husband's photo done via the Warholiser.

Link up your recipe of the week


  1. Thanks for the link. I love the name of this dish and it looks lovely as well. One I shall have to try. I wish I had know about it when I had that enormous cabbage from the farm!

    1. I also have a vegetarian version somewhere on my blog. I should also do a post with a pumpkin risotto wrapped in cabbage leaves. I haven't made it for a long time, need to find the recipe.

  2. Hi! What a lovely blog! Wanna follow each other? Let me know okay=), have a nice day..

    1. Hi Neja! Thank you for visiting my blog! Going to explore yours.

  3. Oooh this looks gorgeous and great for the colder weather. Thanks for linking up xx

  4. Thanks for the mention. That sounds so nice Galina, I might have to try doing that myself - good luck

    1. You're welcome! Love to see how all the bloggers came up with different recipes.

  5. This looks great...if complicated

    1. It is a bit of a hassle, but not difficult if you know how to do it. The Russian grannies could do it in their sleep, I think. ;)

  6. Yum - this looks good and I like a challenge so I think I'll give it a go with some pork mince for the kids and veg mince for me :) Pinned! Thanks so much for linking up to #recipeoftheweek. There's a new linky live now, so I do hope you'll pop over and join in :)

    1. Emily, I have a vegetarian version as well on the blog. They are both tasty.

  7. wow this looks great I love Russian food so will definitely be trying this one x

  8. Pam Francis Gregory21 October 2013 at 08:36

    This looks lovely and a great alternative to the normal.