I have a very strong Czech background. My grandmother prefers the term Hunkie, which were the immigrants who came to America from what was at the time called Czechoslovakia. My great-parents were among those immigrants. I never knew them, but I have grown up around their daughter, Grandma Trix, my entire life. She is always making something wonderful in the kitchen. It isn’t a party without one of her many scrumptious dishes.
Holuby is a dish that I grew up eating. Over the years I have heard it called many things. The latest name gave me quiet a scare. I was talking with a fellow church member about what they planned to serve at the annual Senior Dinner. She replied that they were serving stuffed pigeons. Naturally having known many people who hunt all sorts of birds including doves, I asked this question: “Are members of the church going to hunt the pigeons or is there a pigeon farm nearby?” To which my friend replied laughing, “They’re not real pigeons that is just what we call stuffed cabbage.” Now you must understand that I was new to the area and have never heard Holuby called this before. So, yes, I did make an idiot out of myself that day…but at least I learned something new.
Whatever you may call it, it is a simple dish and it is amazingly good. You can use beef, pork, lamb, or even ground deer meat. I’ve always used lean ground beef. Though, last year my brother gave a bunch of his deer meat after one of his hunts so I had the chance to use ground venison. I truly believe that those were the best Holuby I have ever eaten. So, if you get a change to use venison I highly recommend it. They even taste better when reheated.
1 head cabbage
½ lb. lean ground beef
1 tsp. uncooked rice
Dash of Salt and Pepper
Dash Garlic Powder
2 Cans Tomato Sauce
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cabbage by cutting deeply around core to loosen leaves. Place in boiling water about five minutes. Remove. Separate leaves and set aside.
2. Using your hands mix together rice, meat, egg, pepper, salt, and garlic powder.
3. Shape meat mixture into small balls and wrap cabbage leaves around each one.
4. Place each one into a shallow baking dish.
5. Pour tomato sauce over top and sprinkle with a dash of salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
6. Cook for 1 ½ hours.
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