When I got Steff Deschenes’ Eat the Year for Christmas I went a little post-it crazy and marked up the whole book (really, the whole book) with all of the days that I wanted to write about. Today is absolutely one of them.
Cabbage is amazing. It is second to only mushrooms as my favorite veg, likely because I grew up eating a lot of cabbage. Cabbage is a staple in Russian and German cooking, which is where I find my heritage. In honor of that heritage, I will celebrate today by sharing my family recipe for halupsi (the rest of my family spells it haloopsi, in case that’s any more familiar for you). Halupsi are cabbage rolls. The name, we think, is a corruption of the Russian word “galupsi,” which is what they call their cabbage rolls. My ancestry is all German, but several of the recent generations were German nationals living in Russia before immigrating to the US (I’m third and fourth generation on my mom’s side; dad’s side goes back to almost pilgrims). The recipe sort of straddles the two cultures, but whichever it is, it is soooo good. I usually make a double batch (leftovers of this are amazing).
- 1 head of cabbage
- 1 lb. of ground beef
- 1/2 cup of rice, cooked and cooled
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large can of diced tomatoes in the juice
- 2 small cans of diced tomatoes in the juice
- 1 tsp. salt and pepper to taste
- Canola or other vegetable oil
Soften cabbage leaves by cutting off of head and immersing in boiling water for approximately 2 to 3 minutes and then drain. Mix the ground beef, rice, chopped onion, part of the diced tomatoes (the large can and part of 1 of the small cans) and salt and pepper together.
Spoon the mixture into the cabbage leaves, fold the leaves around the filling. Place in a covered roaster or large frying pan, add approx. 1/4 cup oil (I usually do this on the bottom of the pan) and the rest of the tomatoes.
Bake in a 350º oven for 1 to 1½ hours until rice is tender (the cabbage may brown a bit, I usually cook them for about 1 hour 15 mins and they’re prefect). Check for moisture as it is baking and add more tomatoes and juice as needed.