Traditional Czech Christmas “kuba” the macro way – for your next holiday!

Yes yes, I know, Christmas is already far behind us and we´re all looking forward to spring coming. But sadly it takes me usually a long time to catch up on all the posts I want to write, so usually I´m writing about foods that I cooked about a month ago or even a bit longer ago… :-p My bad, but anyway, you can already make plans for the next Christmas holiday, it will be here sooner than you think!

Traditional Czech “kuba”, eaten for Christmas day lunch, is made with wild mushrooms (I didn´t have those on hand) and with plenty of butter and/or lard, so this is a more macro-friendly version…

I cooked pearley barley (polished barley) for half an hour. It was already presoaked, so maybe it would take a bit longer to cook without soaking. Nevertheless, the barley should still have a bite and not be too mushy or creamy! Meanwhile I sauteed a good amount of minced onion on oil with a pinch of salt and then sauteed it together with sliced soaked shiitake mushrooms, until the mushrooms got soft and well…nicely fried 😀 I seasoned them with some dried marjoram, caraway seeds, minced garlic (an essential kuba ingredient so don´t e shy!), black pepper and an extra sprinkle of sea salt. The flavour should not be too mild as you are making a casserole dish, not a separate vegetable dish with grain.

When the mushrooms and onions are done, mix them through the cooked barley, transfer mixture to a greased casserole dish, smoothe the surface out, drizzle with some extra oil and bake until the top is browned and a bit crispy. The dish is nice served with sauerkraut or other pickles.

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12 Comments

Filed under Grain dishes, Recipes

12 responses to “Traditional Czech Christmas “kuba” the macro way – for your next holiday!

  1. Barbara Hewitt

    My family heritage is czech and I am really thrilled with your traditional recipes. My mother has a recipe for butka and I would really appreciate your converting it to healthy ingredients. Thank you, Barbara

  2. this looks super great! I am totally the same way….posting recipes from months ago in my case, lol 🙂 Better late than never!
    You always make such yummy & comforting looking food. It still feels like winter here, so I hope to give this a go while the weathers still chilly.

    • Yeah, the bad thing is the posts often don´t reflect my current eating anymore, hehe 😀 Since January I´m on the glutenfree wagon again, so no barley for me 😦 But it was nice, the meal!! Here it´s feeling like spring though the mornings are still below zero. But finally there´s sun, yay!!

    • Barbara Hewitt

      My family heritage is Czech and my mother made boutkas for Christmas. Would it be possible to translate recipe into healthy ingredients?

      • Hi, I replied above – I don´t know what boutkas is…

      • Barbara Hewitt

        Sorry, I believe the correct spelling is buchtas. They are butter pastries with nut, poppyseed, or cheese fillings and they were traditionally made to celebrate Czech Christmas. However, my grandmother made these and she taught the method to my mother. The problem might be that my mother is 97 yrs old, so it is possible this tradition is is just to “old school” to be viable at this time. They are actually very similar to Polish kiffle. Kiffle is composed of flour, yeast, butter, egg yolks and sour cream with the nut, poppyseed or cheese fillings. The difference between buchtas and kiffle is that buchtas are much more complicated to make. Thank you, Barbara

      • Oh, ok, “buchty” is a very common baked good here, up to this day. They are not specifically connected to Christmas though, maybe they used to be in the past or in some regions…Never thought of making those myself, as they are always made from yeasted dough and if you change that, you will end up with something completely different… I could make something a bit similar in a more macro-friendly way, but then it would be just some kind of filled pastry, nothing in common with real “buchty” 😀

  3. Great blog, thank you for all the inspiration. I am Czech myself. Kuba is great made from millet too, if you still want to enjoy it when on gluten-free diet. In fact I prefer millet to barley.

  4. Jana

    Somebody posted a recipe for buchty on a Facebook MB group I am a member of:
    Prepare a bread starter from a mixture of wheat and rye flour. Feed twice, two hours apart. Do not add salt or seeds. Then prepare a bread dough from whole wheat flour, lukewarm water, the starter and a few grains of salt. Leave it to rise for 4h in a warm place. Prepare fillings: 1) poppy: soak raisins in rice milk for an hour. Warm this up, add ground poppy seeds, rice syrup. Thicken with instant corn porridge, allow to cool. 2) tofu filling: soak raisins in water for an hour, then drain. Add finely grated tofu, sweeten with rice syrup. Don not heat this up.
    Fill the buchty, line up in a banking tray and bake.

    • Barbara Hewitt

      Jana, Thank you so much for forwarding the kuba recipe to me. I appreciate very much that you sent it to me. Best regards, Barbara

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