|Halupki, Stuffed cabbage, Pigs in a blanket, Golabki ... however you say it....YUM!|
Every year I look forward to my parents Labor Day visit and this year we were really laid back; seeing some sights in Greenville, eating some great homemade food and just really being with each other. Of course we also did a lot of work. When my parents come, and especially my Dad, work will be done! This year, and as always, I was happy to have the help. We totally cleaned my garden out and replanted my fall garden (pics to come soon!) My mom and I redecorated my back porch in bright new hues that just make me happy, and best of all my mom and I combined efforts in the kitchen to cook one of our family's favorite meals. As a family, we always called these Halupki or Pigs in a Blanket but every time I explain them to someone they have a different name for them- stuffed cabbage, golabki, dolma etc. So of course I had to look up the origin of this simple comfort food. See the history and heritage of this food here. I thought that this was really an amazing story of something I have eaten since I was a tiny girl.
It was interesting, while making these with my mom this year, I asked how my little northern Italian Grandmother learned how to make this Slovak/ Polish recipe. She explained that when my Italian Gram married my Pap who was Slovak, this was one of his favorite meals. Since my Pap was the baby and all his big sisters looked out for him, they took my Gram under their wing and showed her how to make Halupki. And over the generations this has become one of our winter, comfort food staples.
When my mom and I both spotted this huge cabbage at the farmer's market we knew that it was destined for one thing...
HalupkiI hope that you enjoy this post. Since I had other hands in the kitchen, I was able to take a lot of pictures. This is probably the closest I will come to making a tutorial and this recipe really needed step by step instructions.
|A Halupki cut open so you can see how these are wrapped.|
1 large cabbage ( like above) or 2 smaller cabbages.
3-4 lbs of ground beef
1 1/2 cups rice (not instant)
2 medium onions chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 large cans of canned or stewed tomatoes
Carefully core the cabbage with a sharp chefs knife.
|My mom cores the cabbage so when the head is steamed, the leaves will peel off easily.|
|Getting ready to steam to release and soften the leaves. |
|Now they are nice and soft for wrapping.|
Allow all cabbage leaves to cool to the touch.
In a separate large bowl, combine ground beef, uncooked rice, onions, and seasoning. Mix with hands until combined.
|Ground beef mixture|
|Just enough meat mixture to fill your hand otherwise the meat will become dry.|
|Perfect little cabbage roll|
Using the large pot you steamed in. Place any left over or torn leaves on the bottom of the pot as a lining. Begin layering the Halupki in the pot.
|Layer #1 of about 5 or 6|
Alternate a Halupki layer then add about 1/2 of a can of tomatoes. Continue in this fashion until all the Halupki are in the pot.
|Halupki and tomato layers|
Cover the pot and bring to a boil. After it boils turn the heat to low and boil for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. You need to cook this long to assure that the rice is done.
Serve with crusty buttered bread. Make sure to either remove the toothpicks before serving or warn guests that they are there.
|Dinner is served.|