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Old 06-11-2012, 05:50 PM   #1
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Question Galumpkis (Stuffed Cabbage)

It looks like I will have a bumper crop of cabbage this years. Of course I will be making sauerkraut and using it for ham or cornbeef and cabbage fresh. I will also be making galumpkis.

Every time I cook a dish that has ground beef in it and then freeze it I find there is an odd taste imparted from the ground beef. I dislike it so much I no longer freeze meatballs and other ground beef dishes.

I would like to freeze a bunch of galumpkis but they are a lot of work to make. Freezing them and then finding they don't taste so good after reheating is something I would like to avoid. I wondered if anyone else has a way to freeze dishes with ground beef in them without altering the flavor to something unsatisfactory. Comments appreciated, thanks.

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Old 06-11-2012, 05:57 PM   #2
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I freeze them all the time. I use my food saver and vacuum-seal about 4 in a bag. The only time I have had a problem was when the bag didn't seal properly and I got some freezer burn.
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:18 PM   #3
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I am not sure it has anything to do with meat it self. I'd check the way you freeze and store. Of course ready made products frozen don't keep it's taste as well as raw meat, I would not recomend to keep it for too long.

P.S. I'm just wondering where is the name coming from. becasue in Ukrainian they calle Golubtsi or some people called them Galupki?
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:23 PM   #4
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That is how my family has always spelled it...Polish descent here.
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:31 PM   #5
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I learn something new every day on DC. Had never heard of Galumpkis.

I've started grinding my own beef, ground chuck is awesome. Would that help?
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:58 PM   #6
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This is a dish of many different names. fillings wrapped in vegetable leaves were and ancient staple in many parts of the world. My Armenian ancestors wrapped cabbage leaves around lamb and rice and braised them. They also used grape leaves. We call them dolma and serve them with yogurt. The Greeks call them dolmades and serve them with a lemon sauce. The Jewish community called them holoshkis.

Golampkis (or whatever you call them) are all over Eastern Europe and beyond. They are popular because they were cheap eats for poor people.
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:41 PM   #7
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I make small batches of them fresh except for the ground beef. I don't care for the texture of the cabbage after it has been frozen.

When I buy ground beef I cook it with whatever vegetables I have on hand. Sometimes it includes garlic, onion, celery, peppers or mushrooms. I freeze it in plastic deli containers and then when I make a small batch of cabbage rolls I use the outer leaves of the cabbage along with some leftover rice and tomato juice or diced tomatoes. The rest of the cabbage usually gets shredded for a salad or some other casserole. I have never had a problem with the ground beef tasting off.

The containers of ground beef mixture are great for hurry up batches of Spanish rice, chili, goulash etc.

At this time of year you can also wrap them in Swiss chard leaves that have been lightly blanched. The leaves are more tender than cabbage leaves so it is better if you use two or three leaves instead of one.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:24 AM   #8
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I spoke with a butcher about this and he told me he thinks the problem is using previously frozen ground beef. He told me lots of food stores buy their ground beef frozen and allow it to thaw leading people think that it is fresh.

I bought some fresh ground beef and made a batch of galumpkis. First I made a hamburger to taste the ground beef and it was fine. The galumpkis came out excellent. I refrigerated the remainder. Tonight I will reheat the refrigerated galumpkis and check the flavor. The balance will go in the freezer and I will check on them later this week.

Since the advent of the industrial feed lots for cattle I noticed that the flavor has also change. Cattle are force fed corn and I think that corn is effecting the flavor of the beef especially the fat. This is very noticeable when the meat is cooked, frozen and then reheated. The same is true of chicken. My mother would usually cook a bunch of chicken on Sunday and we would eat the refrigerated chicken through the week. I find that chicken today has a terrible flavor when I do this. The only difference is when I used free range chicken.
Once again I think the problem is in the feed fed to the animals in these industrial settings.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:53 AM   #9
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Hi Donsabi--will be interested re: what you think after you do your taste test. Have you considered grinding your own ground beef?
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:49 PM   #10
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Update on refrigerated galumpkis. I reheated these galumplkis over a few days and found no difference in flavor. Actually I thought the flavor may have improved somewhat. This may show that the butcher was correct in his theory about previously frozen ground beef.

For the final phase I froze the remaining galumpkis in different ways. One with aluminum foil covered with plastic wrap, plastic wrap alone, plastic wrapped and vacuum sealed, and foil wrapped and vacuum sealed. I am only going to keep them in the freezer for a week and then reheat and taste them.

Many years ago when I fished salt water and had many good catches I did a test on the taste of frozen fish vs time. I learned that the longer the fish is frozen the more the flavor degraded. After one month in my freezer I really did not care for the fish. Keep in mind I had no way to flash freeze and my home freezer was probably holding at -20 to -10F.

CWS4322,

I do grind beef but usually steak. This is very lean and does not have the same flavor of ground chuck. I do this more for health than taste. If I cannot find a trusted supplier of ground beef I will start grinding my own chuck. Once again how do we ensure these meats have not been previously frozen. Secondly I believe there is a definite taste difference in industrial beef and free range grass fed beef that is more pronounced after freezing.
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