Today, I bring to you a variation of the traditional Polish dish called haluski. You can go here for a traditional recipe with some common variations. The link will open in a new tab, so you won’t lose your place. 🙂
Oddly, though my parents were both born in Poland, and I grew up with a lot of traditional Polish foods, haluski was not one of them. Mind you, when I was a kid, I hated cabbage and probably wouldn’t have eaten it if my mother did make some! Even so, my parents also took us to Polish celebrations and events in the city, and I have no memory of this dish. I did not discover it existed until within the past year or so, while looking up things to do with cabbage!
Of the recipes I found, the most basic is onion, cabbage, noodles, and a lot of butter. Some include bacon, kielbasa or a variety of cured meats, like pancetta. I tried making it with bacon, and we liked it enough that it has since become a fairly regular dish in our household. My husband is not too keen on cabbage, though. 😉
This time, I decided to experiment with the recipe, and I am very happy with the result. The plain egg noodles were replaced with mushroom egg noodles and, because I still had some left, I included dried mushrooms as well.
The dried mushrooms are a mix of white button mushrooms, crimini and shiitake mushrooms.
The next time we dry mushrooms, we need to do a whole lot more! 😀
The noodles I used are a brand that is easily found in our area, usually in its own little display. They are made with 2% porcini mushroom granules.
While preparing the noodles according to package instructions, I chopped the cabbage and onions, cut the bacon into small pieces, and set the dried mushrooms to reconstitute in boiling water. If I were using fresh mushrooms, I would have just sliced them.
Not pictured is the butter and seasonings. The seasonings can be just salt and pepper. As I still have some left, I used mushroom salt, as well as freshly ground pepper, garlic granules and paprika. Fresh garlic can be used instead of the granules, adding them in just before the cabbage.
The bacon pieces were added to a large pot and fried until they started getting crispy. The bacon fat is used in place of butter at this point.
Then the onions were added and, after they had softened a bit, the reconstituted mushrooms were added. The liquid was included, too, which helped deglaze the pot. The seasonings were also added at this point.
Where I using fresh mushrooms, I would have added them to the bacon before the onions.
Next, the cabbage was added, along with a dollop of butter, and cooked until soft.
By the time the cabbage was ready, the noodles were cooked and drained.
The cooked noodles were then mixed in, along with another dollop of butter.
Here is the end result, sprinkled with dehydrated parsley from our garden.
The mushrooms and mushroom noodles were a very tasty modification to this traditional dish. The flavour they add is not overpowering, but there is a whole new layer of umami in the dish that works very well! I think it would have done nicely with a dollop of sour cream on top, too.
Here is the recipe! If you give it a try, I hope you come back to let me know how you like it. 🙂
Mushroom, Bacon Haluski
serves 4, generously
1 medium cabbage
1 medium yellow cooking onion
1 package bacon slices, 500g
1 package mushroom egg noodles, 350g
1/3 cup dried mushrooms of choice
seasonings to taste (mushroom salt, pepper, paprika and garlic granules were used for this recipe)
butter, as needed
- remove outer leaves from cabbage, core and chop into pieces about the same size as the noodles
- chop onion and slice bacon into roughly half-inch pieces
- line a small bowl with a coffee filter. Add the dried mushrooms, breaking up any larger pieces, and cover with boiling water
- cook noodles according to package directions
- while the noodles are being prepared, place the bacon pieces into a large pot. Cook on medium high heat until desired crispness, stirring frequently
- add chopped onion and cook until the onion begins to turn translucent, stirring frequently
- add the reconstituted mushrooms (the coffee filter makes it easier to pick them up out of the liquid). Cook briefly, then add the liquid the mushrooms were soaking in. Stir to deglaze the bottom of the pot.
- add seasonings. Continue cooking, stirring often, until onions are soft and the liquid is cooked down until almost gone
- add the chopped cabbage, along with about 1/4 cup butter (adjust quantities of butter as needed). Combine well and continue cooking, stirring often, until cabbage is at desired tenderness
- add cooked and drained noodles to the cabbage mixture, adding more butter as desired
- combine well. Cook until the noodles are heated through.
- serve while hot