This casserole is a celebration of vegetables! Look at the list of ingredients. Their variety is stunning! That’s why the complexity of this dish flavors conquers the taste buds of vegetarians and carnivores alike. Just like any other layered dish, benefits from being cooked in advance, set in a refrigerator for a few hours and reheated portioned right before serving. It helps to develop flavors and keep colorful layers presentable.
Nothing compares to our childhood food. Our mind recognizes it immediately no matter how old we are and brings back our sweetest memories. This recipe is Elena’s family recipe, from Odessa region. At first, I felt frustrated I don’t know English better to translate her story properly. But then, is it really possible not to loose in translation the beauty of Odessa flavorful way of storytelling?
Holubtsi are part of my Ukrainian tasting menu Bud’mo!. This recipe is adjusted to local ingredients and I jokingly describe it as UkrTexMex.
For English-speaking people it might sound like “cow Ann.” So, there. It’s meat, it tastes good. If tasting blind, I wouldn’t be able to say what kind, but I’d suspect slow-cooked tough lean beef muscles or some kind of beef offal.
I was going for thick and rich Creole turtle stew. A cup of sauce left over and cooked Angus beef meatballs in it. You don’t need exotic for Texas turtle meat to enjoy this Creole creation! Cook this stew with easily available beef shanks or cheeks. This dish is perfect for cold weather.