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halušky s kapustou alebo tvarohom podľa babička

Printed From: Foods of the World Forum
Category: Europe
Forum Name: Central Europe
Forum Discription: Poland, The Czech Republic and Slovakia
Printed Date: 15 August 2022 at 05:59

Topic: halušky s kapustou alebo tvarohom podľa babička
Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Subject: halušky s kapustou alebo tvarohom podľa babička
Date Posted: 16 April 2011 at 10:21
Halušky s Kapusta alebo Tvarohom Starej Mamy
Hopefully, what we have up there translates to "Grandma's Halušky with Cabbage or Curd Cheese."  If anyone who is fluent in Slovak happens to read this, please feel free to correct me if I am wrong, either by" rel="nofollow - emailing me or by replying to this thread. ~ Embarrassed
Peasant cooking, which is to me the best food in the world, can and will often vary between regions, between villages and even between individual homes; consequently, there are many versions out there under various spellings: halušky, haluski, halushki kapusta, halushky with pot cheese. These are all sure to be good, but they are NOT Grandma Mary's halušky recipe; this one is!
This pictorial is part of a series that I am compiling in her honour, which includes her" rel="nofollow - holúbky (cabbage rolls) , her" rel="nofollow - Veľkonočné syr (Easter cheese) , and her" rel="nofollow - koláče (poppy seed or walnut rolls) .
When my wife's grandmother, Mary Macejko, emigrated from a small village named Žakarovce in the Slovak region of the newly formed Czechoslovakia in the early part of the 20th century as a 9-year-old girl, she didn't bring much with her except a language, a religion, traditions and memories:
Naturally, many of those memories revolved around food and mealtimes, which are always happy occasions for any family. Some of those foods have already been shared here, such as her" rel="nofollow - koláče , her" rel="nofollow - holubky  and her" rel="nofollow - hrudka (sometimes called sirets or "Easter cheese"); this recipe, simply called halušky, is another. The folk of Žakarovce are peasants, humble and close to the land, and this meal is so eastern-european peasant, grandma-in-a-head-scarf-digging-for-potatoes-out-behind-the-cottage that you won't believe such goodness can come from the earth. I shall say to each and every one of you: I COMMAND you to try this! Tongue
As the name states, this recipe is for halušky with cabbage or curd cheese (cottage cheese). My wife was very definite on this: when it comes to her grandmother, she only saw her make halušky with cabbage OR cottage cheese. In her family, it was never halušky with cabbage AND cottage cheese. Having said that, i am sure that in some household somewhere in Slovakia, it was made with both cabbage and cheese. So, there seem to be three options to this: with one, with the other or with both - the choice is up to you! This preparation will be with cabbage, but I will try to make the other options clear.
So, what are halušky? It's very simple and nothing elaborate: halušky are simply halušky - a cross between home-made noodles and potato dumplings that are made from flour, potatoes and egg. In their simplest form, they are boiled with soup or stew; or they might be boiled in water, drained and served as a side dish - however, this preparation goes a step farther, as you shall see.
A lexicological note: as far as my research indicates (and i admit that i might be a bit wrong), the difference between haluski, as they are often spelled, and halušky is simple geography. It seems that the "I" on the end indicates more of a Polish and/or Ukranian origin, while the "Y" at the end points to Slovakia and possibly Russia; also, the little squiggle over the "S" (š) indicates that it should be pronounced with a "sh" sound, as in "halushky." The plural form is "halušky;" the singular form is "haluška." If anyone who is fluent in Slovak sees that I am wrong with any of this, please let me know, either by" rel="nofollow - emailing me or by replying to this thread.
As I said before, this recipe is very close to the land, and all of the ingredients can be commonly found in any supermarket or, more importantly, on any farm. Here are your ingredients for a fairly large meal, fit for a family of 6 (not pictured: the other pound of bacon):
  • 2 lbs of smoked, thick-sliced bacon (you could also probably use ham, kiełbasa, pork shoulder, chicken or beef, such as chuck roast, etc. - whatever you want!)
  • 1 large head of cabbage OR 1 container of cottage cheese
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 3 to 4 cups of flour
  • 4 to 6 potatoes, depending on size
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • *Optional: a few cloves of crushed or minced garlic

That's it! Keep in mind that this is going to make a lot of halušky; as always, you can cut this in half for a smaller meal.

NOTE - In the picture, I have low-fat cottage cheese, simply because that's what we had on hand. You could use this, I suppose, but large curd, 4% cottage cheese would give you a richer end product and a much better experience.
Speaking to cheese, if you have access to a cosmopolitan variety of cheeses, you can use Slovak "byrzdny" cheese, which is evidently similar to mexican queso fresco or greek feta. Back in the old country in the old days, the byrzdny cheese would have been a very authentic item to use on special occasions; for normal, every-day cooking, the family would use home-made pot cheese, which is similar to cottage cheese, yet drier. When I say "cottage cheese" in this post, you can substitute with any of the above. Hopefully, we will someday have a tutorial on making pot cheese!
NOTE: If you just want to make halušky themselves, without the cabbage cabbage or cottage cheese, so that you can enjoy them on their own, in a sauce or as a side dish for a meal, then simply skip down to the the sections of this post that go into their preparation. All you need is potatoes, flour, eggs, and perhaps some salt and pepper. Prepare the dough as described below, then roll it out, cut the halušky, cook them in boiloing water, drain and serve.
Here's how the entire dish is made: I will warn you now that I was very thorough with the pictures, to the point of being tedious, but this is a very important recipe in our family and I wanted to be as precise as possible in order to get the method across. I have learned over the years that as we lose our older generation, it is up to the next generation to keep the traditions alive, and this is what I am doing, both here and to a larger extend with this entire website.
Much of this can be multi-tasked (for instance, you can prepare some ingredients while others are cooking, etc.), and when you make this, you will find your own rhythm - especially if you choose to make it again and again; but here, I will lay it all out step-by-step.
First, Put a large pot of water on the stove and put some heat on it so that it can come to a slow boil. You can add some salt if you want to season the water. If it starts boiling before you are ready, simply reduce the heat and cover it until you are ready.
Then, slice the bacon into squares an inch or so long:
As said above, you can use pretty much any meat you want, depending on the direction you want to push this meal. Peasants ate what meat they could get, and stretched it with onions, bread and creations such as halušky. As prepared here, with this much meat, it would obviously be a grand feast, fit for a celebration or holiday - one of the "advantages" of living in America in the 21st Century, I guess....
Then, chop your onions:
You want a good mix of small and medium pieces of onion, with occasional large pieces. This is not le restaurant de l'hôtel grand de haute cuisine à Paris!
Next, cut your cabbage in half, if you will be using cabbage, then cut out the core and slice half of it in fairly-wide strips as shown here:
You can do it all this way, or you can do the other half of the cabbage in narrower strips:
NOTE - Over time, I've found that the best method seems to be quartering the cabbage, then cutting out the cores; then, start at the bottom (where the core used to be) and slice the cabbage quarters very thinly (similar to the picture above), and gradually widen the slices as you work your way up toward the "top" of the cabbage quarter. The final, wider strips from the top will be somewhere between an inch and an inch-and-a-half.
To make the halušky dough, peel your potatoes and divide them into quarters, sixths or eighths, depending on size:
you want them in cubes of a similar size as if you were boiling potatoes to mash them, which is pretty much what you're going to do!
Cover them with an inch of cold water and then boil them for 10-15 minutes, or until they are fork-tender:
Then drain them thoroughly, letting them sit a minute or two until their heat gets them on the dry side:
Then put them in a large bowl and mash them with a fork or a potato masher:
You want them to be very thoroughly mashed, until they have a fluffy texture and there are no visible "chunks," but you do not want them too liquidy or pasty, either.
Next, add your flour:
Then your eggs, then salt and pepper to taste:
Stir this mixture until everything starts to come together, then knead with your hands a minute or two, until you have a good dough:
You want it to be fairly smooth and fairly stiff, but not too much so; if you can press it into the bottom of the bowl and turn it out as shown above without it spreading out, you should be good - otherwise, you may need to add a little more flour if it is too soft.
NOTE: Since potatoes naturally vary quite a bit in size, I've gotten into the habit over time of selecting an amount that is roughly equal to one "normal-sized" potato per person, then peeling, cutting, boiling and mashing them, then adding the eggs (2 or 3, depending on the amount of potatoes), and then adding just enough flour to bind everything into a good, smooth dough. This method works out pretty much the same as described above, but it is more versatile and allows for variations in potato size etc.
If you haven't yet started the bacon, you can cover or wrap your dough and do so now. I prepared the meal in our Dutch oven, but anything of similar size will do. What you want to do is start the bacon over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat as necessary as it cooks and renders out much of the fat. If you are not using bacon or some other "fatty" meat, then simply use whatever meat you choose, using a little butter or olive or canola oil. Stir it often to avoid burning, sticking etc.; you would rather cook it slowly than quickly. It will be ready when it starts to look like this:
Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, letting the fat drain back into the pan, and set the bacon aside on a layer of paper towels to drain:
Next, remove all but a little of the bacon fat, reserving it in case you need more, and start your onions in the same pan:
Once again, you want to cook them slowly, starting over medium heat, stirring often, until they take on a translucent look and just begin to get some carmelisation. As the onions release their moisture, be sure to "de-glaze" and scrape up all the bits of bacon "residue" that is probably on the bottom of the pan!
When the onions are the way they should be, add a little crushed or minced garlic, if desired, and then add your bacon back in:
If you are making this with cottage cheese only, then skip this next step; simply maintain your bacon and onions at a low heat, stirring occasionally, and skip down to the making of the halušky.
Otherwise, add all of the cabbage:
This will look like a huge amount of food in the pan, but as anyone who has cooked with cabbage knows, it will cook down quickly and dramatically. This is why a large pot or Dutch oven will come in handy, but a large frying pan or sauté-type pan should also work well.
Cook this lovely mixture, stirring often and letting the cabbage cook down. Reduce heat as necessary if it looks like it is going to start burning.
If you did not add cabbage, continue here!
Meanwhile, let's get those halušky started! Hopefully your water is at a slow boil by now!
Divide your dough into workable portions, maybe a quarter or a half of the whole, depending on whether you made this entire recipe or cut it in half. Then roll it out on a floured surface like this:
You're looking for a decent thickness, I'd say maybe one-quarter to one-half of an inch, but don't hold me to it - I didn't take measurements, so try to use the photos as a guide. Next, cut the dough into strips maybe an inch wide or so:
A pizza cutter works great, but any blade will do. Once you get them cut all one direction, make cuts in the opposite direction:
You're shooting for halušky that are maybe an inch or two long, no more than three, by an inch or so wide. See my comments above referencing the fact that this is peasant cooking and they do not have to be a uniform, exact size!
Now comes the fun part ~ pick up a few of the halušky:
Hold them out over the slowly-boiling pot of water:
And drop them in, where they will sink like a stone:
After a minute or so, they will float to the top when done:
Let them cook for a minutes or so longer, to make sure they are thoroughly done inside, then remove them with a slotted spoon, letting them drain for a few seconds:
And drop them into a bowl of some kind until all are finished:
It's a good idea to drop them into a strainer or colander over a bowl, but not absolutely necessary.
Repeat the procedure above as necessary until all the dough is gone.
At this point, halušky are extremely versatile; aside from the two very popular serving suggestions you are about to learn about, you can also serve them plain, with butter - or with any other sauce for that matter - or as a side dish for nearly any meal, much the same as you would serve mashed or boiled potatoes. One delicious meal that you can serve them with is" rel="nofollow - holubky (stuffed cabbage rolls), which is another wonderful Slovak legacy of Grandma Mary." rel="nofollow - Click here for a complete recipe , as well as background information and step-by-step pictures:" rel="nofollow -
Anyway, back to this wonderful peasant dish!
By the time you are done making the halušky, your cabbage should be cooked down, with the thicker pieces still maintaining just a bit of crunch - and your bacon and onions should be working with it to create a beautiful aroma:
Simply add the halušky to the bacon/onion mixture:
And stir it around thoroughly, mixing everything together and getting all those wonderful flavours onto your halušky:
After simmering for a few minutes, the liquids in the pan will thicken up a bit, and your halušky might brown a little, which is perfectly fine. If you're using cottage cheese, now is the time to add it, stirring it into the wonderful mess in order to mix it thoroughly.
It is at this time that your wonderful peasant meal is ready to serve:
I imagine that someone who has no connection to eastern-European peasant cooking will think this looks rather humble on a plate, but a closer look will reveal a treasure of goodness:
The potato-based halušky fluff up beautifully when cooked, and the onions, bacon and cabbage work together to provide the most basic and humble, yet delicious flavours. This is very much a meal that comes from the land, and will take you straight to a small, eastern-European village a hundred or three years ago.
I can't stress enough how good this meal is, and I will remain forever grateful to my wife's Grandma Mary for bringing this with her from Žakarovce. It is truly one of the best meals I have ever had!
Now, as I said before, you are all commanded to go forth and prepare this meal! It is versatile enough that it can be tailored to any taste, and it will certainly be a journey that you will not regret!

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Posted By: got14u
Date Posted: 16 April 2011 at 20:31
Holy grail batman....this is going to be made later next week for sure...Thanks for the post Ron. On a side note I just got a Hungarian cook book so I am looking forward to throwing some plates out there for ya as well...Man I just ate but I still want a plate of that stuff.


Life's hard, it's even harder when your stupid.

Posted By: Hoser
Date Posted: 17 April 2011 at 02:41
Anything swimming in bacon fat is the best!
Man alive I want to try some of that. Great post Ron!Thumbs Up

Go with your food!

Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 17 April 2011 at 09:35
hey, guys - thanks for the great replies. this one has great signifigace to me, and i am glad that you were impressed with it. my apologies for taking so long to get this one posted. we actually made this on st. patrick's day, a month ago, but i took a lot of pictures during the preparation and wanted to get the best of them in the proper sequence - also, i wanted to frame it in the right family context, so i needed to ask my wife a few things about her grandmother, and with our schedules that's a challenge.
jerod, you will love this, as i know you have a fondness for hungarian food, and this is right up that same alley. looking forward to seeing what you post from your hungarian cookbook - if you get a chance, tell us a little about it in the - library section !
dave - no reason not to give this a try! keep in mind that the TWO pounds of bacon is feeding a large family - 6-8 people with lunches left over for a couple of days. for a smaller household such as yours, not nearly as much is necessary. i was a little intimidated by the idea, but no worries - once you render out the fat, you're only keeping a tablespoon or three to cook with.
enjoy, and if either of you have any questions, let me know!

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Posted By: Boilermaker
Date Posted: 17 April 2011 at 10:11
Awesome job, Ron! Thumbs Up  Great pics and instruction.  I like to collect "real family recipes" that have been handed down so this one will go into my cookbook of keepers.  Can't wait to try it.

Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 17 April 2011 at 10:31
you're gonna love it, andy - this one is authentic as it gets. i posted a few before under the "haluski" umbrella, but the ones here really are "the stuff" - an added significance, as you said, is that they are a real, tangible part of our family history. my wife's grandmother was very important to her, and she still misses her these years after grandma mary passed away. my efforts here to keep that memory alive, and to share what she knew, are a tribute to both her and my wife.

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Posted By: curious aardvark
Date Posted: 17 April 2011 at 10:48
only start seeing pics after it's all done.
None of the method pics at all. (ah weirdly they all appeared after I posted a reply, go figure)

So basically gnocci with cabbage and bacon. Looks pretty good Thumbs Up

One thing that is pretty bizarre - substitute cottage cheese for cabbage, that is just weird lol
Can't think of two ingredients more different.

Like the way you do the gnocchi, same way I do shortbread biscuits, never would ofthought of using it with potato dumplings though Clap
Nice one :-)

Beware the slings of outrageous fortune (bows and arrows are for wimps ;-)

Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 17 April 2011 at 10:59
hey, aardvark - good to see you posting! yep, the gnocchi connection is the one i was really interested in. in fact, i will be making gnocchi today using essentially - the same recipe  with - andy's meatballs !
i hear what you're saying on the choice between cabbage or cheese, but that's what my wife said. she was very adamant about that, and so i went with it. we did try it once with both, and it was really good, but melissa insists that she only saw her grandmother make it with one or the other, NEVER both. i was talking with another fellow who says that he grates cheddar cheese into his, and that sounds pretty good to try, too!

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Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 17 April 2011 at 12:06
An extremely tasty old-world recipe you made Ron, very nice post! Everything seems to taste better when there is some family history behind it, doesn't it? Can't beat that flavor combo of cabbage and baconThumbs Up
Those dumplings looked pretty good too, I liked the bits of spices you could see in them. Thanks for sharing some rich family history!


Posted By: MarkR
Date Posted: 19 April 2011 at 11:03
A tribute Photo.

I used a whole caggage head (large) and 1/2 quart of cottage cheese both.
Soo good, thank you Ron.

Mark R

Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 19 April 2011 at 11:45
looks great, mark! and i know it tasted great, too!
glad you enjoyed it - if there's anything else you'd like to see, let us know, or if there's anything that you try, post it up!

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Posted By: technogypsy
Date Posted: 21 April 2011 at 11:39
Wow. I haven't seen this since Grandma passed on. That looks great. I'm going to have to see if she had a recipe...

Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 15 August 2011 at 12:14
from a member at another forum where i shared this same recipe:
Quote Tasunka: The halusky with cabbage was very good. We all had seconds and thirds. A definite keeper recipe. I made half the recipe and it was good for three with leftovers. Thank you!

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Posted By: Rod Franklin
Date Posted: 15 August 2011 at 15:10

Something like this was on the table weekly when I was growing up. Home made noodles were always around. I can't say they were potato based, just homemade egg noodles. The dish was always made with bacon, cabbage and cottage cheese. Sour cream was added too. So, you can imagine it had a bit more of a sauce to it. Oh, and paprika, of course! It never had a name that I can recall. I always ate it willingly...

I don't think I've ever had those potato noodles/dumplings, but they sure sound good! I could go there.
Thanks for the effort!


Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 15 August 2011 at 15:23
it is good stuff for sure, rod. if you try it i am absolutely positive you would enjoy it ~ Thumbs Up

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 07 November 2011 at 09:00

we made this last again last night and it was as good as ever - the beautiful mrs. tas was missing her grandmother, and so we decided to share this experience as the anniversary of her grandma's passing approached.

we made this pretty much exactly as the directions and pictures above proscribe, and preparation went off without a hitch. one slight preparation improvement i can recommend is this:
when using cabbage, the instructions above recomment cutting half the "wedges" wide and the other half of the wedges small. this works very well for getting some good texture and body. but it's even better when you cut the bottom halves of the wedges thin and narrow, and the top halves wide. this way, the tough bottom halves are made thinner and are less likely to be overly "toothsome." when we make this again, i'll get a picture to illustrate what i am saying, and will also modify the instructions above. either way works, but this, to me, was an improvement and seemed more like a natural way to cut the cabbage in order to give best results in the end product.
also, we decided to give it the full "deluxe" treatment and use both cabbage AND cottage cheese. it turned out very well, and i can certainly recommend this third option, which would have been something probably reserved for very special occasions. the cottage cheese gets melty and makes a very nice creamy sauce. combining that with the braising of the cabbage in the bacon and the onions really gives some wonderful flavour. i'd really like to try making my own "pot cheese" sometime and using it for this. should be really good.
if anyone has been thinking about trying this great peasant dish, but hasn't yet, then i implore you to go ahead and do it. it's perfect food for this time of year, and makes a very filling and satisfying meal ~

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 19 December 2011 at 09:51
"Kielbasa Kid," a member from another forum, posted his great variation on this, which is not too different at all.....
Quote O.K. Ron; here's my variation for the halusky. It is no where near as attractive as yours with the green kapusta because I had to use Red capusta. So I call it "occupation" (zamestnania) halusky. Nothing "Red" was attractive.  I also adjusted a few things.

I used red potatoes and mashed them with the skin on.  I like potato skins. I also added chopped garlic since the area is plagued by vampires and werewolves. I wear garlic every full moon because of my wife's parentage. One never knows; do one?

My M-I-L comes from the village of Jarambina in the district of Stara L'ubovna, Slovakia. It, with its castle, is just north of where your wife's grandmother and your recipe comes from.">Jarabina, Stara Lubovna.jpg

My M-I-L's sister's nephew, Michael Strank came from there. He was the USMC Sgt in the 2nd Iwo flag raising and didn't make it off the island.">imagesCA8966IO.jpg">Iwo Jima.jpg

I am by occupation, a sculptor and I did this piece to commorate the 1st flag raisers who virtually faded from the pages of history.">haluski (y) 003.jpg -">
haluski (y) 002.jpg

I digress.  Back to the subject at hand.  I pretty much followed Ron's recipe but needed 5 cups of flour; probably because of the harder red spuds? I also used Elk kielbasa. The Red kapusta, goes without saying.">haluski (y) 004.jpg The
lambing knife and cutting board were my grand parents tools. My grandfather made the board for my grandmother, after they were married in 1910. The knife has always been used for kielbasa.">haluski (y) 006.jpg">haluski (y) 005.jpg The

kielbasa is poached for 8 minutes per side with water only half up the side.">haluski (y) 007.jpg The
water is reserved and the kielbasa is browned in bacon grease and then cut into 1" chunks and fried well so that it doesn't fall apart during stirring.  Meanwhile the onions are fried in bacon grease.">haluski (y) 008.jpg

Then it is mixed in with kapusta and cibule (onion).  The zemiakov (potato) is boiled and the water is reserved to cook the haluski in.  It adds flavour. Waste not; want not.">haluski (y) 009.jpg

Another bad image.

The kapusta is added and the reserved kielbasa water is added along with the frying grease rinse from the skillet. No waste of flavour.">haluski (y) 010.jpg The

rest is academic. Halusky is rolled out, cut and drowned in the potato water. I then scoop them out and dry the pieces on racks before adding it to the kettle.">haluski (y) 011.jpg">haluski (y) 012.jpg">haluski (y) 013.jpg">haluski (y) 014.jpg It
ends up looking like the Red Army tromped through it but the taste is very good. I server it on our Polish plates.">haluski (y) 015.jpg

We have enough frozen for two more meals. 

Thank you Ron.

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 22 October 2012 at 11:32
I never get tired of this wonderful, simple, rustic peasant meal; it tastes great, it's easy to make and it can really stretch a dollar. We made it again last night for supper, pretty much as described in my opening post. As usual, it was delicious - and I even had leftovers for lunch today! Clap 
Where the halušky themselves are concerned, anyone with experience in Italian or Central European cooking can see how easy this is - it's similar to the gnocchi of Italy or the nokedli of Hungary. Beyond that basic component, it is a simple matter to turn this into a hearty, slavic or polish peasant meal with the bacon, onions and cabbage, giving it a character all its own that speaks of comfort, family and warm cozy evenings inside as the snow flies outside. One can prepare this with bacon, sausage, ham, chopped brisket or corned beef - or probably any other meat - or even as a meatless, vegetarian dish if desired.
My oldest son, Josef, actually made the halušky, while I took care of the bacon, onions and cabbage in my Dutch oven. When he finished boiling and draining all of the halušky, we dropped them into the Dutch oven and cooked the entire mess for a few minutes, getting all of the bacony-oniony goodness into the halušky and "frying" them a bit for a little extra flavour. Just before serving, we added a small tub of large-curd cottage cheese (as a substitute for the traditional, drier "pot cheese"), stirring it around an mixing it thoroughly into the whole dish; this lent a creamy aspect to the dish that never fails to please.
It is a cheap, filling, satisfying meal that is perfect for this time of year, and it is also rich in tradition and heritage - I can't really think of any "peasant" meal that is more worthy of the title. it's an important dish in our family, and will always arouse nostalgia and good memories. I'd be honoured of anyone wants to give this a try, and would be interested in hearing how you liked it.

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Posted By: Margi Cintrano
Date Posted: 22 October 2012 at 13:54
Photo 1.
Photo 2." rel="nofollow -
Thought this would be of interest, from" rel="nofollow - .
Firstly, thanks so much for sharing your traditional family recipe. I am going to prepare your family recipe this wkend,  as we have enjoyed similar pastoral cabbage dishes in northeastern Austrian Italia, Trentino Alto Adige ( Trieste ) as you know.  I would like to prepare it with my fave potato called cachuelos from Galicia. They are extraordinaire and we love curly cabbage dark green or Cavolo, an Italian black cabbage. 
Now, the bacon or the Kielbasa: I want a Butcher slab of sausage  not a pkg. and a good red wine to sip with this.  I truly love the idea, with a Bratwürst / Kielbasa and am thinking since it is HUNTERS SEASON, perhaps a Venison or Boar Sausage verses a Porker which are both available here in El Corte Ingles (" rel="nofollow - ) the Interntl. Supermkt.     
Tas: what do you think or should I stay with Bratwürst or Kielbasa ?
So be patient, I shall definitely prepare it however, I need the right ingredients; and I shall post a couple of fotos and enjoy preparing in my freetime.  The potato dumpling instructions u have provided are simple and concise to follow.
One more thing, the photos that are accompanying your recipe, the Photos of your Mother In Law and the countryside and the lovely photos of the statue, artist and scenery -- are they Rod´s ? or Your´s ?

Volamos a Mediterraneo, un paraiso que conquista su gente u su cocina.

Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 23 October 2012 at 09:39
Good morning, Margi, and thank you for the very interesting link, with the insightful photos.
One more thing, the photos that are accompanying your recipe, the Photos of your Mother In Law and the countryside and the lovely photos of the statue, artist and scenery -- are they Rod´s ? or Your´s ?
The photos of the preparation of the recipe in the opening post, starting with the shot of the ingredients, are indeed mine. The ones above it of the town of Zakarovce are a selection that I found on the internet in order to introduce the reader to my Grandmother-in-Law's hometown. 
The photos in the later post farther down with the statue, the red cabbage and the WW2 soldiers are actually from another fellow. If you read the opening of that post closely, you'll see that I was simply quoting another person who tried this recipe and enjoyed it.
I'm honoured that you're going to give this a try. It truly is one recipe that has become a family tradition, and I am proud that all of my children will know how to make it.
For me, BACON is absolutely the way to go - if you decide to go with bacon, it should definitely be sliced thick, and cooked over medium heat in a heavy pan so that the fat can be rendered as much as possible. Not to the point where the bacon is burned or crispy, but....well-rendered.
But having said that, this is a very versatile recipe and therefore it is open to preferences and available ingredinets; thus, ham or sausage would not only be perfectly acceptable, but also would, I believe, be just as traditional. This is peasant cooking after all, so one would use what they had, which unfortunately might often have meant that only the most meager organ meats or even no meat was available. So with that, I say, if you want sausage, it's all good!Smile
I think that, if you are going with a sausage, that the kiełbasa-type would be the most versatile way to go. I'm no expert, but my reading indicates that the area of Slovakia where Zakarovce is located was closely aligned with the Hungarian Empire culturally. It wouldn't surprise me if Hungarian kolbász, assuming you can get some, might be the most "relevant" choice; but having said that, either would be great, whichever you choose. Any German wurst would be fine, as well - all of these sausages are similar, and to be honest I think that any would do just fine.
One important characteristic, in my opinion, is that the meat, whatever you choose, be cured and smoked, because this imparts a wonderful flavour to the dish that really makes it special.
I have no experience with boar sausages, but if you like them, and want to give a rustic flavour to the dish, it certainly can't hurt! Same with venison sausage, which should be quite good for this.
For me, the choice would come down whether I wanted to keep it traditional, or whether I wanted to push the envelope and put an individual or regional flair on it. For me, since it is a significant family thing, and I actually knew and interacted with (and even loved) the woman who inspired this recipe, I would want to make it as close to the way she had it as possible - and, if I could, I would reach as far back to the little village of her birth as possible, given my limited availability of ingredients. But, if you are able to put an Iberian twist to it or incorporate some of your own favourite ingredients (such as the potatoes and the cabbage), then I think it would be great to go with a favourite Iberian smoked sausage as well, which would really make the dish stand out on its own with a unique character and a new identity.   

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Posted By: Margi Cintrano
Date Posted: 23 October 2012 at 10:25
Firstly, thanks so much for clarifying the photos and the numerous possibilities on product availability suggestions here in the Mediterranean. The key is, that the Vet and I want to duplicate your traditional family recipe for the 1st time ... We therefore shall be going to El Corte Inglés to see the Eastern European Meat Selections, and see if we can obtain bacon from one of the Balkan Countries. If not, sausage and then, if not: we can get Polish Kielbasa and Hungarian Sausage, surely. I have seen it uncountable times ...
We love the Incan variety of Cachuleos, a yellow small potato which is from Galician, in northwest Spain. The cabbage we prefer are the darker green varieties, and thus are Curly in leaves verses the smooth variety and shall work wonderfully.
I shall take fotos of the products and then, Saturday, this shall be " our lunch " ... with a bottle oak aged red wine, from Slovenia if possible, or the gateway to this region from Italia, or a Ribera del Duero Tempranillo from Valladolid, Castilla León or Bierzo, León which shall work perfectly. I shall also see the Bakery´s selection at El Corte for a dark seeded bread ... which is typical of this region.
For onions, I like Galician yellow sweet, shallots, scallion, and Cebolletas, which are white onions with very long green stems which are utlised too, and called Spring Onion.  
Keep you posted and thanks for posting such a lovely feature, for us.

Volamos a Mediterraneo, un paraiso que conquista su gente u su cocina.

Posted By: Margi Cintrano
Date Posted: 23 October 2012 at 11:36
This is a photo of the Curly Green Mediterranean Cabbage variety, I had mentioned.
Curly Green Cabbage - Photo Courtesy 123Rf.

Volamos a Mediterraneo, un paraiso que conquista su gente u su cocina.

Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 23 October 2012 at 13:07
sounds great, margi, i am willing to bet that this cabbage will work very well!

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Posted By: Margi Cintrano
Date Posted: 23 October 2012 at 14:36
Tas. I believe it shall too. Thanks. Mar.

Volamos a Mediterraneo, un paraiso que conquista su gente u su cocina.

Posted By: Furtwangler
Date Posted: 06 July 2014 at 08:24

The correct name is halušky s kapustou alebo tvarohom podľa starej mamy.

One note on Slovak titles. We don't capitalize every word in a title, only the first one (and of course those that would be written with a capital beginning letter anyway, like names of towns).

All feminine nouns end with -ou suffix in the instrumental case (the preposition 's' always demands this case), that's why ''s kapustou''. I added the preposition podľa (according to, with regard to, following - well, it's difficult to translate) because the title is rather long and would sound unnatural without it. Here the preposition means the same as the Spanish ''a la'' or the Italian ''alla''. It demands the genitive case. If you use the whole expression ''podľa starej mamy'', you can stick it at the end of any recipe title and will surely be correct. It will have the meaning of ''alla nonna''.

The recipe is, however, authentic. Even though we don't make it this way in our family, many people do.

The pasta itself would be called differently today, I guess, it's more like šúľance. You see, the word halušky is one of the two Slovak words that cover the meaning of the English word dumpling (the other being knedlík). Halušky denote those dumplings that are quite small and aren't stuffed. It's a generic word. For instance, any dumpling you put in soup will be ''halušky''. However, most people today, when they say ''halušky'', mean the kind called more precisely ''strapačky''. Those are made from raw grated potatoes and flour (sometimes eggs, too).

Strapačky are especially well suited as a vehicle for bryndza and bacon (bryndzové halušky), the national dish. Or with braised sauerkraut and bacon. Or with tvaroh and bacon. Or with lecsó (Hungarian vegetable stew of onions, garlic, tomatoes and peppers). Or, strangely enough, with plum jam and bacon. Traditionally, plum jam was made by stirring whole plums without any sugar in a copper cauldron over open fire for many hours with an oar. The result was jam that wasn't very sweet and slightly smoky.

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le goût de ce qu'elles sont."
- Curnonsky

Posted By: HistoricFoodie
Date Posted: 07 July 2014 at 00:08
Thanks for the clarification, Furtwangler. And welcome to our little corner of the culinary world. 

Why not head over to the Members Lounge forum and tell us a little about yourself; particularly your cooking interests. 

But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket

Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 08 July 2014 at 23:15
Hi, Furtwangler - many thanks for the information on the title, whihc I have edited in order to be more precise. I also appreciate the clarification regarding Slovak wording and the different terms in use today. 

These dumplings in many forms are much enjoyed in the region - I hope to try them all! The strapačky with plum jam especially sounds good, and one I would love to make.Tongue

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 08 July 2014 at 23:18
Note: I tried changing the title, but it was too long by a letter or two, so I sought an alternate translation for "grandmother." I hope that it is correct!

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Posted By: miro
Date Posted: 22 July 2014 at 10:37

there are many recipes for halušky. I agree with Furtwangler when it comes to spelling and cooking halušky. I am old Slovak that grew up in a middle of Slovakia (Zvolen, Detva, etc.) In that region, halušky is made from shredded raw potation and flour and with bryndza with some fried bacon.

There are different recipes say for soup filling (drops) in that case you use what Ron described but cut really small. It's also called "jemne halušky", and there is "šúlance" that you would make with poppy seeds and sugar, etc.

jemne halušky were also used in many Hungarian based meals, like paprikas, chicken on sour crème, etc.

anyway, I mostly post on but want to explore some other cooking. I traveled a lot around the world and still did not run across cuisine I did not like

Posted By: miro
Date Posted: 22 July 2014 at 10:51
Oh BTW, don't use a read potatoes for halušky, use old white potatoes. Red potatoes or fresh/new white potatoes are too moist and starchy. That does not go well with halušky. Of course you can try and put it into right ballance, but why when old method works?!

Posted By: HistoricFoodie
Date Posted: 22 July 2014 at 12:08
Thanks for contributing, Miro. A nice tip about potatoes.

Welcome to our little corner of the culinary world. We're certainly happy you found us.

One thing: Why not head up to the Members Lounge forum, and tell us a little about yourself; your cooking interests in particular.

But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket

Posted By: gonefishin
Date Posted: 22 July 2014 at 12:24, this recipe looks and sounds great!  You can almost smell and taste it through the screen!  Thanks for posting.

Furtwangler and Miro, thanks for the contributions to the recipe and's great to get further insight into the traditions of any dish...especially once you start getting into slight regional (or other ) differences.  thanks!


Enjoy The Food!

Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 22 July 2014 at 22:15
Hello, Miro, and I am honoured to see you posting here! I truly enjoy your posts and advice on and can't thank you enough for what you've taught me so far.

I will indeed have to try halušky with the shredded potatoes - the method I used here is my wife's grandmother's from Žakarovce, but I believe it was probably also "Americanised" a little. 

I also appreciate the advice on the potatoes; I know that there are many different kinds that can serve different purposes, but I have a lot to learn about them! In general, we have red potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes and Idaho "russett" potstoes available. Occasionally there are one or two more, but those are the three main choices here. If I read you right, the Idaho russets might be a better choice?

I am really looking forward to trying this other method as well, and expanding my  halušky experiences.

Many thanks!

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Posted By: miro
Date Posted: 24 July 2014 at 17:23

Ron, about potatoes. I know, it may be difficult to find a good one for halusky. In US stores we go for "fresh" which is good for other uses but not so much for halusky. In our area they sometimes sell just "white potatoes" and they may be a bit older. I buy Yukon when I can't find anything else and try to go for a bit aged ones.

See, in the old country we did not have a supply of fresh potatoes year around. You harvested potatoes later in a year, and store them for the winter. Even in stores, they've got a supply of potatoes that were stored in a big "potato storage places" to keep them from spoil but they were aged.

However, don't worry about it. If you have a "fresh potatoes", I prefer Yukon, shred them and wash them in a water (to get starch out of it" and drain it in a colander or piece of close to get some moisture out. Draining is not so important, don't go overboard, as you will need some moisture when mixing it with flour.


Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 24 July 2014 at 17:55
Understood - thanks for the advice!

Just by co-incidence, I had a bunch of "old" Yukon potatoes just the other day, but I planted them!Shocked

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Posted By: Furtwangler
Date Posted: 25 July 2014 at 13:05

It doesn't seem Americanized to me, Ron. We would just call it differently. Incidentally, I went through Žakarovce some two weeks ago on a bike as a part of a longer bike trail (I'm a keen off-road cyclist, you see). The village is one STEEP climb and the boys growing up there, who ride from its one end to another every day, are the future of world cycling, let me tell you.

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le goût de ce qu'elles sont."
- Curnonsky

Posted By: miro
Date Posted: 27 July 2014 at 20:46
Oh BTW Ron, I'll take back what I said about potatoes. I also am still learning about "American" potatoes. You mentioned Idaho Russet potato which I ignored so far but I think you were RIGHT! Today I was in a store and paid attention to Russet potatoes, and they looked perfect for making halusky. I'll give it a try tomorrow and let you know how it went.


Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 27 July 2014 at 22:16
Tomas - I've seen photos of Žakarovce and have to agree about the climbing. I can easily imagine that it would be a good training ground for cyclists. Interestingly, the area in Montana where my wife's family settled is similar in the terrain, but of a drier climate. They worked in the coal mines of the area, similar to home, I am sure.

Miro - looking forward to hearing about your results - I'm thinking they will work very well for you! 

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Posted By: miro
Date Posted: 08 August 2014 at 08:17
Ron, about potatoes and halusky. Been late making them (as I also made a big pot of kapustnica).
You were right (one always learn) Russet potatoes was exactly what's prescribed for halusky. Came out excelent! Oh, one more comment for folks who do not use shreded potatoes.Use smallest size shreder where potatoes come our shreded as a small shred but not as a "paste" If you shreded it too big it does not mix well with flour and halusky most likely fall appart through boiling.

Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 08 August 2014 at 18:53
Hi, Miro - good to see you again! Beer

It looks like the russets are the way to go - plenty of those here, so it's all good! Thanks for the tip about shredding the potatoes; I intend to try this version of halušky to see how it is, and any advice is valuable. I'll let you know how it goes when I make them. 

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Posted By: Tom Kurth
Date Posted: 16 January 2016 at 14:52
Strayed over here from the Volgadeustch knoefla thread. My Nebraska Czech ladies typically served their halusky with roast pork or roast duck gravy. Marvelous food!


Escape to Missouri

Posted By: Marinka
Date Posted: 26 January 2019 at 05:01
Thank you so much for sharing these recipes and memories.
I grew up in a Slovak household- both of my parents were first generation Slovaks raised in coal country of Scranton, Pa in the early 20th century. My mom was a great cook and made the recipes you provided here with some variation. This dish was her older brother's favorite so she usually made it when he visited monthly.
Whenever bacon was cooked in our home, the fat was saved in a jar in the fridge, so when it came time to make halusky s kapustou, my mother would use that as the fat to cook the onions.  
Sometimes my mother added a handful of crushed canned tomatoes to the s kapustou and always a touch of sugar as the cabbage and tomatoes cooked down.  YUM!
I do not recall my mother adding cheese to the halusky s kapustou.  Also, I always thought that just saying "halushky" meant the homemade noodles without the cabbage.  
My favorite dish was having the halushky noodles(no cabbage) with sautéed onions and pot cheese added at the end so it stayed chilled in contrast to the hot halushky.
One other cooking term and method I learned at home is "zaprashka", which I learned much later in life from my chef-boyfriend was a dark roux.  My mother would start with bacon fat, sprinkle flour and brown. This was her base for many Slovak dishes including the halushky.
My favorite Saturday lunch was machanka.  This was a dish that began with zaprashka and my mom would add tomatoes which cooked down into a wonderful thick stew.  She served it with slices of day old bread that we would dip into the machanka and enjoy.

byt dobry (be good),

Posted By: HistoricFoodie
Date Posted: 26 January 2019 at 06:42
Welcome to our little corner of the culinary world, Marinka. And thank you for your insights into this dish.

Hopefully, you'll be chiming in with more Slovak recipes and rememberances. They are the heart and soul of what we're trying to do here. 

You might, too, want to go up to the Members Lounge forum, and tell as a little about yourself, your culinary interests, and so on. 

But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket

Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 29 January 2019 at 11:30
Hello, Marinka, and thank you so much for dropping in. I am very grateful for your memories and thoughts on the Halušky! I am always impressed with how favourite foods have little differences in them from household to household, but are delicious all the time.

I believe you are correct: my wife says that her grandmother would make her Halušky with cabbage OR with cottage cheese (the closest thing she could get to pot cheese, I guess), but never with both. My wife likes it with both, so I make it with both...happy wife, happy life!

I really like the sound of your "zaprashka," and how it is used to make "machanka," I have not heard of these, but I would like to try this idea out.

I do hope that we see more of you on the forum and would love to learn how your family cooked many different meals. Please do drop into our New Members' Lounge and introduce yourself, and feel free to share your family recipes with us!

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Posted By: erain
Date Posted: 08 September 2019 at 01:49
Awesome post Ron! I just walked through the garden today and noticed I had missed a large head of cabbage which I had harvested to make sauerkraut. Did 80 lbs. of that and is in crocks fermenting now. So I was wondering what to do with that head and only thing that came to mind was Halusky. Well that or cabbage steaks, not sure if you ever tried those. But I think Halusky is better and I welcomed seeing your detailed post.

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