I love love love, and did I mention that I love, making my family's recipes? I remember my Gram making halupki, I remember it from block parties (street carnivals) and other assorted events. I don't know that I liked it when I was growing up - if I call my Mother to tell her I'm making it she makes funny noises or if she's here she looks at me funny - but I love it now. I just don't make it as often.
Luckily for me, I have some amazing friends who are willing to try just about anything once. And when I explained what it is to them, they were excited! So on Friday, we had a dinner together. Here's the cooking part:
Steam 1 large head of cabbage in 2" of water until you can easily peel the leaves back.
(Note: They get super hot, obviously, so don't forget about this like me and be careful!)
While the cabbage is steaming, bring 1/2 cup rice and 1 cup water to a boil, and then set aside. You want it to be only half-cooked so it'll cook the rest of the way later.
Take 2 pounds ground beef, salt, pepper, and 2 eggs and combine, using a fork so the mix stays loose. (See? There was a reason the fork is in the picture.) Optionally, you can add 1 diced onion, and 1/4 lb of bacon. I had neither on hand and prefer the simpler taste anyhow.
Add the rice in to the beef mixture and mix it all up - again with the fork to keep it loose.
Make your assembly line. Meat mix, cabbage (I started pulling some leaves off to have them ready), and your cooking pot. I used the same pot I steamed the cabbage in.
Put 2 Tbsp of the meat mix on the cabbage leaf, and wrap it up - easy peasy, lemon squeezie! (No, there are no lemons in this recipe. It's just a cute saying.) Then start laying them in the pot, seam side down. Keep rolling until the leaves are too small or you run out of meat. If you run out of leaves first, don't worry. Just make little beef patties and put them on top of all the rolls.
Mix 2 small cans of tomato sauce (or if you're like me, one very large can of tomato soup) with 2 Tbsp of vinegar. Then pour over top of your lovely wee pile of halupkis.
Put that bad boy on the stove and cook it slowly for 1 1/2 hours. Or, again, if you're like me, get to making this around noon and let it cook until you're ready to eat. I'm paranoid and like the extra hour or two assurance that it's thoroughly cooked.
I would have photos of the finished product on the plate, but uhh... well, they got eaten too quickly for me to get any pics! Besides, once it hit my plate, I was too busy drooling and scarfing them down to worry about taking photos.
Just trust me - they're super yummy.