Halupki And Pierogies: Cold Weather Dinner (Pics Of Course)

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tx smoker

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Apr 14, 2013
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Lago Vista, Texas
A bit of a story here so if you don't want to read it all I understand. A number of years ago a good friend of mine married an angelic little Polish girl. Her grandmother made Halupki regularly and it was crazy good. Every time she made it Emmett would bring me a big tub and I'd eat till I fell out of my chair. Tried a few times, unsuccessfully, to recreate it and had pretty much given up. A few days ago our good friend Bearcarver Bearcarver mentioned them in a thread he did with one of his meals and that reminder set me on a quest. Read tons of stuff on the 'Net and nothing jumped out at me. Then somebody hit me right between the eyes with a sledgehammer. Another good friend here, Joe ( xray xray ) is of Polish descent and we have shared tons of recipes back and forth. I reached out to him and immediately got a reply with his grandmother's recipe and an amazing picture tutorial on putting them together. Weather here was horrid yesterday and we were iced in again. Lots of time to work on something new so I jumped on making this....even though I'd just gotten the recipe the day before :emoji_laughing: Turns out this didn't take nearly as long to do as I thought it was gonna take though.

First step it to pay homage to the lady of the hour: Joe's grandmother. This is her recipe
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Now to start the build. Put cabbage in a pot of hot water, let sit for a few minutes and remove. Peel off the outer leaves that have softened and put the head of cabbage back in the pot. Repeat till you have gotten down to basically useless leaves. A nice pile of peeled leaves. I turned them upside down so the water would run out of them
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Into a bowl goes the meat, eggs, rice, and spices (recipe to follow)
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Mix it all up. Looks terrible but oh man does it smell wonderful!!
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Take a baking pan and line it with broken or unusable cabbage leaves then add some of the tomato sauce.
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Lay out a cabbage leaf and add a couple ounces of the meat mixture
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Fold the sides in, roll it up, place in the pan and repeat till the pan is full or you run out of meat mix
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Top with sauerkraut
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More tomato sauce
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Cover with more broken or unusable leaves. I couldn't resist a nice dose of black pepper also. Cover the pan with foil and into the oven. These went for 2 hours and 15 minutes at 325.
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Now to the pierogies. A hefty dose of butter and garlic into a large skillet and add the pierogies. These also were a gift from Joe in our Christmas exchange. They are potato and cheese filled.
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Lightly brown and flip
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Halupki out of the oven
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Top layer of cabbage leaves removed
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Dinner plated
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Cut shot to show all the goodies
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Needless to say, this whole dinner came to us via Joe's generosity and Nona's recipe. The halupki were everything I remembered them being plus some due to the addition of the sauerkraut which the previous ones did not have. The pierogies were simply amazing. Lightly crispy on the outside with a decadent, creamy inside. I don't know if I carried on Joe's family legacy with this or not but it sure was one darned fine meal...and perfect for a cold, nasty, windy, icy day.

Here is the recipe. The original just has a list of ingredients. Joe dialed in the amounts and put it all on paper.

2 lbs. Ground Beef
1 lb. Meatloaf mix (the stuff with pork and veal)
2 c. Pre cooked rice
2 packets of Lipton onion soup mix
2 tsp. Garlic powder
1 T. Paprika
1 T Worcestershire Sauce
2 eggs
Black pepper to taste.

Cabbage
Tomato Soup, I use the large condensed can and then dilute it with a half can of the leftover cabbage water.
Sauerkraut

Core your cabbage, and place in boiling water, boil until leaves start to separate and lift cabbage leaves off one by one. Once cool enough to handle, trim the vein of the end of the cabbage. Save the tough outer leaves and broken pieces to line a large roasting pan and add a little bit of the tomato soup. Roll your halupki and layer into the pan. Top with sauerkraut, a light dusting of brown sugar (optional) and more tomato soup. Cover with the leftover leaves, cover and bake for a few hours.

Joe recommended using Campbell's condensed tomato soup but I had my doubts. He swore by it though so that's what I did and it worked. I only used 1/3 of the meat in his recipe but did not do the math and calculate 1/3 of the spices. I just added what seemed to be the right amount. Turns out I needed a touch more salt, more black pepper, and more of the tomato sauce. Nothing tragically short, just needed to amp it up tad for our tastes. All in all I was thrilled with this and it WILL be on the list of rotating menu items around here. Sure was great to enjoy a blast from the past that I now have for the future.

Y'all take care, stay safe, and we will see everybody soon. Got another super quick and easy dinner to post that was outstanding...but that's for another day.

Robert
 

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Looks great. Gotta love keeping traditions and recipes alive.
 
Nothing beats Grandma's cooking, that's for sure. That's a nice tribute to a good friend and his grandmother, it's what life and family should be about. I just wish that I had my grandmother's biscuit recipe, she made the best...
 
Robert, this looks absolutely fantastic. And the recipe from Joe's grandmother is very very close to the way I was taught to do these. All the way down to the tomato soup! (Our family recipe has the addition of worcestershire sauce to the soup)
Ryder and I made a batch for new years...that was our way of getting our sourkrout fix lol!
What a great write up and tribute!!
 
That looks fantastic Robert! Great job all around, and Joe's generosity and his Grandmother's ingenuity make it complete. The Mrs. makes a version of this and we love it. Thanks for the story that went along with this.
 
Some of the best eating there....That looks fantastic. great job....:emoji_thumbsup:

Boykjo
 
That is an incredibly awesome cook with a warm story on top! I’m definitely bookmarking this one to try! You definately did a heck of a tribute, amazing cook, beautiful food, with a great write up. Thank you for sharing!
 
Excellent !!!
Nice Job, Robert!!
Those look just like the ones I've been eating for 55 years.
I love them!!
Like.

Bear
 
Yummy. My used to may both items just not at the same time! Though she did not add the kraut on top of the cabbage. But would use it for a side with pierogi. Now toy just need some duck blood soup !
 
Looks fantastic Robert! I know that tasted great! As I mentioned in a separate convo I plan on making a keto version of this soon. Congrats on another spinner ride
 
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Robert, the halupki looks fantastic! I made this last for Christmas Eve dinner but that got cancelled due to Covid. I did ship two of them off for my nana to try. She really enjoyed them and seemed glad that someone else made them for a change! lol.

I am glad you like the recipe. I remember seeing a thread a little awhile ago about sharing recipes. I will share almost anything because I believe food connects us. It allows people to share the same experience despite having never met or living in different geographical locations. Food has a way of transporting us and every time I make these, I'm instantly transported right back to that kitchen table in the first picture.
 
Robert, I gotta be honest...I don't know the first thing about halupki or pierogies. Not many Polish people in my circle. But that was a fun read and a really good looking meal! Thanks for taking the time to post the story and pic. of Grandma. Like!
 
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