This is another variation on halušky (or halushki), the traditional Slovak pasta in the shape of small dumplings. Yes, our halushki can also be served with sauerkraut and topped with fried bacon. In this case the dish is called Strapačky (pronounced as strapatchki), which would loosely translate as ‘curly halushki’ – the name very likely derived from the look these small potato dumplings get when mixed with sauerkraut.
Sauerkraut – the fermented form of white cabbage is a popular staple in Slovak households. It’s full of vitamins, minerals and probiotics. It helps us survive our long, harsh winters. We often eat it raw to increase the levels of C vitamin in our bodies and boost our immune system. Sauerkraut is an indispensable ingredient for many of our dishes, not to mention its beneficial effects in times of hangover.
- 4 large potatoes
- 300 – 400 g fine flour (plain wheat can be combined with wholemeal in a desired ratio)
- salt to taste
- 0,5 kg sauerkraut
- 150 g smoked bacon, diced
- oil for frying (if applicable)
- Peel and wash the potatoes. Grate them raw on a nutmeg side of the grater, or blend in a food processor.
- Add the flour and a pinch of salt. Mix well to achieve a dough of medium thickness. The exact amount of flour will depend on the size and type of the potatoes, and whether you use a grater or a food processor. In the latter case, you might need to add a little water to better blend the potatoes. It’s always good to start with less flour and keep adding more if necessary.
- To make halushki, you will need a holey tin-plate that can be attached to or hooked over a pot with boiling water.
- Choose a large cooking pot and fill it with water halfway up. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and transfer half of the dough on the tin-plate. Pass the dough through the plate using a wooden spatula. The small dumplings that form in the hot water are called halushki.
- Stir halushki well and adjust the heat, so as they don’t overflow. When they’re cooked through, halushki will come up to the surface.
- Take them out with a sieve or a slotted spoon. Transfer into a serving bowl and shake gently to prevent sticking. Cover to keep warm. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
- Put the bacon in a large deep pan and heat over a low heat. Let sweat until it releases fat. If this is not enough for frying, add a little oil. Increase the heat and fry the bacon until crisp.
- Throw in the sauerkraut and stir well into the bacon. Transfer onto the warm halushki, stir again and serve hot on individual plates.
If not finished, Strapatchki can be stored in a fridge and reheated, although this rarely happens in my family.