I fell in love with Halupki-Spetzofai Stewed Meatballs at first bite. We at first thought the spelling was “hiluki” and that they were of Greek origin. They’re crazy good giant meatballs roasted in cabbage, green bell peppers, and stewed tomatoes. That’s it! Nothing more – except a little salt and pepper. My sister-in-law made it for a family gathering many, many years ago and the smell alone sucked me in. Her husband’s family is Greek and it came to her from her mother-in-law. Turns out, the origin of this particular recipe is a melding of two recipes – one for Ukrainian Halupkis and Greek Spetzofai. Thank heavens Jimmie and the boys loved it, too! Even if they hadn’t, I would’ve forced them to eat it with me at least once a year so I wouldn’t eat the whole pot by myself. I am always on a diet, after all. 😋
We heartily believe in leftovers in our house. The recipe is for a single batch; the rule for the meat is, 1 pound of ground beef to 3 pounds of bulk seasoned pork sausage. My pictures show I’m missing 1 lb. of sausage, but it still tasted great. Serve these fist-sized meatballs with mashed potatoes and garlic bread. It may sound odd – I thought it did – but it absolutely works!
3 lbs. bulk pork sausage
1 lb. ground beef
1 small head of cabbage, cut into small chunks
2 green bell peppers, seeds removed & cut into strips
1 – 28 oz. can of stewed or crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Picking an oven-safe cooking vessel large enough to hold whatever size batch you’re making, plus a lid or foil to cover. A Dutch oven would work well for a single batch.
Put the cabbage in the pot or roasting pan first and lightly salt and pepper.
Thoroughly mix the sausage and ground beef, roll into fist-sized balls.
Nestle them all around on top of the cabbage, then place the sliced bell peppers over the top. Pour the tomatoes over all and lightly salt and pepper again.
Cover tightly and place in a 350°F oven for 3-1/2 to 4 hours for a single batch; 5-6 hours for a double.
Serve with mashed potatoes and garlic bread.
Serving size: 2 meatballs