The friendliest kitchen in all the land!
Hi folks! Hope you are having a great week. The Super Bowl is almost here and I’m getting ready for a big night on Sunday.
Today I would like to share with you a recipe from Romania. This delicious dish goes by the name sarmale and it’s basically meat rolled into cabbage leaves. This recipes originates from the former Ottoman Empire and it’s quite specific to the Middle East and Central Europe. Each country has their own variation on this recipe.
Let’s see how you can make “sarmale”!
What you need:
500g minced meat (turkey, pork, beef, lamb)
2 onions (chopped)
salt and pepper
First fry the onion in some oil with some paprika. When the onion is soft and almost see-through, add the rice and continue frying for about 2-4 more minutes.
Put the onion and rice into a bowl and then add the meat and the spices. Mix really well.
Next up take the cabbage and put into a pot with boiling hot water.
You will need to be careful not to over cook it. We are not trying to boil the cabbage completely.
We want to get it to peel off and get some nice leaves that will be soft and easily stuffed.
Once the cabbage start coming off, it means they are ready for stuffing.
The next part requires a bit of finesse, but it’s not too difficult.
Take a leaf and place a bit of stuffing in the middle, not too much, because otherwise they will burst when boiled.
This is a very important piece of advice, make sure that you tuck the edges so the meat doesn’t float away later on.
Here you have a choice, you can make them small or quite big. I recommend you try to go for a smaller size, since it’s easier to roll them up.
Check out the gallery below for some pics on how to stuff the sarma’s.
Once they’re stuffed, lay some cabbage leaves on the bottom of the hob and then put the sarmas in there. Add some water and start boiling them.
Boil for 1.5 – 2 hours, then add some tomato puree into the water and boil another 1.5 – 2 hours.
When they’re done, you can put them in a baking tray and cook them in the oven for about 20 – 30 minutes. This will release the flavor some more. But it’s not necessary, and you’re probably too hungry by now to do that.
Serve with some creme fraiche or some nice yogurt. There you have it, a delicious pot of sarmale.
I know it sounds a bit complicated and long to cook, but it’s well worth the wait! This is one of my favorite dishes and people in my family, especially my Mom, make the best sarmale.
Enjoy and I hope you will give them a try! See you next time for a Super Bowl Special Post!