You’ll say “its cabbage, no!”, but cabbage rolls are a meal admired by many around the world, just prepared in a many different ways, what depends on the recipe’s place of origin.
Recipe’s place of origin I say? What is the place of origin for cabbage rolls?
Once upon a time, Ottoman empire (Turkey) had advanced deep in to central Europe and was stretching from Middle East, at times, all the way in to Hungary, even Austria. Today there are many countries, from Turkey throughout south and central Europe, all the way to east and parts of western Europe, that may find recipe in grandma’s cookbooks written many generations ago. By that said there are many versions and ways of preparing cabbage rolls that we’ll call sarma, since this version is coming from one cookbook in continental part of central European country of Croatia.
In Turkish language “sarma” is called Lahana sarma.
All instructions that you need to get you going are in this recipe. Hope you’ll enjoy preparing this meal as much you and your guests will enjoy eating it.
- Serves: 8 – 10 people
- Preparation time: ~1h
- Cooking time: 3:30h – 4:00h (on low heat)
- Serving: For best taste serve day or two after cooking. Until then keep cabbage rolls on the cool place or frozen for longer periods of time. Serve warmed up, on the oven for around 1h – until boiled through. Serve with mashed potatoes and red wine.
- 1 medium to large size sour cabbage head
- 1/2kg – 1kg (1-2 lb.) sliced sauerkraut
- 1.5kg (3 lb.) ground beef
- 1/2kg (1 lb.) ground pork
- smoked meat, could be few smoked ribs, smoked bacon…
- 5 large spoons of white rice
- 1 onion – chopped
- 1 large spoon of olive oil
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon of Vegeta spice (Vegeta is a mixture of spices and various vegetables)
- In a medium size saucepan add 3-4L of water, half of smoked meat and 1/2 of sliced sauerkraut. Cover it and cook this soup over medium heat while you are preparing the rest.
- Whatever smoked meat you have left cut it in to small pieces. In a bowl add the meat, smoked meat, rice, chopped onion, olive oil, egg and all the spices, then mix this well.
- From cabbage head peel the leafs. If cabbage is to sour you can wash the leafs a bit in the water. Take each cabbage leaf (large leafs you can cut in half – also remove hard center part of large leafs so you can easily roll them) and add meat mixture in each leaf, then roll it. Secure each role by gently pressing ends of the leaf towards the center.
- Spread if you like one or two sauerkraut leafs on the bottom of a large pan. Place prepared cabbage rolls on the top by adding on the top of each layer whatever sauerkraut you have left. Once all the cabbage rolls are in carefully pour in the soup and all of its contents. If all the cabbage rolls are not covered with the soup add some water. Cook it over low heat for 3 1/2 to 4h.
Why to stop on sarma and not to make a simple white bread…
Sarma will make a great wintertime meal.