Romania - Sarmale with cabbage leaves

County: Romania

Sarmale în foi de varză

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

• 1 large cabbage (or 2 medium-sized cabbages)
• 750 g of minced pork (or half pork, half beef)
• A few slices of smoked bacon
• 2 onions
• 2 tablespoons of rice
• 6 tomatoes or 2 tablespoons of tomato concentrate
• 1 l of chicken stock
• 100 g of lard
• Salt, pepper, thyme and fennel


Filling: fry the finely chopped onions in the lard. Once they have started to brown, add the rice and allow it to blanch. Add a little water and mix in the finely minced meat, the salt and pepper and 2 or 3 tablespoons of water.

Take the cabbage(s) apart leaf by leaf, removing the hard part. Boil the leaves in the stock and leave them in it until they are soft.

Cut the leaves into square pieces of around 7 to 8 cm in length (the size depends on personal preference and the size of the cabbages available). Place a little filling on each square and close it by folding over the opposite edges, tucking them under by placing a finger on the inside of the sarmale.

Then place the sarmale in concentric circles in a saucepan. Cover them with finely sliced pieces of cabbage (the offcuts from making the squares) and slices of bacon, repeating this process several times, depending on the depth of the pan (which should not be filled to the top because the sarmale expand as they cook). Cover with sliced cabbage leaves and chopped tomatoes (or diluted tomato concentrate). Spread the lard over the surface and lastly pour over the stock, along with some water. Simmer very gently for a long time, adding more water if necessary. The sarmale are best when reheated which is why they are normally made a day in advance. The longer they simmer, the better they taste!

last modification: 2015-07-22 13:38:34

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