Mushroom and hulled grain “Kuba”

Mushroom and hulled grain “Kuba”

Christmas, feast of abundance, used to be marked with fasting on Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve only meatless dishes or fish were eaten, though the evening menu consisted of nine courses ‑ including apples, dried fruit or nuts in poorer families. While nowadays common fried carp has not been on Christmas tables for a long time, sweet braided bread (vánočka) and mushroom kuba (houbový kuba) have had a long tradition back in the past.
Hulled grain, basic ingredient of kuba, used to be an ordinary part of our ancestors’ diet, nowadays replaced by rice and eaten only at Christmas in this traditional kuba, with many people not eating it at all. It is a pity, as hulled grain is both healthy and delicious and kuba might be prepared also during the year, even with fresh mushrooms. Meatless dish, it can be served also as Christmas Day lunch with no worries of breaking the tradition of fasting and thus not seeing traditional golden pig in the evening. 



Preparation time: 15 minutes + 2 hours for mushroom soaking
Cooking time: 30 minutes
 
Ingredients:
2–3 handful dried mushroom
300 g hulled grain (barley)
3 tablespoons lard + 1 tablespoon for the casserole
2 bigger onions
2 cloves garlic
½ teaspoon ground caraway
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
salt, ground pepper
 
Procedure:
Soak dried mushrooms in water for at least 2 hours, then squeeze them to get rid of extra water.
Rinse hulled grain in cold water and cook in salted water until soft, about 20‑30 minutes. Drain and let in the sieve to get rid of water.
Cut onion in small pieces and fry on lard until brownish, add soaked mushrooms cut in bigger pieces. Stir shortly, then add garlic crushed with salt, caraway, marjoram and freshly ground pepper.
Butter the casserole, put in hulled grain and mushroom mixture and mix together. Smooth out and bake in preheated oven at 180°C for about 25 minutes until golden-brown colour.