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Member recipe

Romanian Sarmale

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Serves 1 - 30 Rolls

Or Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Because it's Christmas I thought I would share with you the Romanian traditional Christmas dinner.

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  • - 1 sour cabbage
  • - 500 g beef mince meat
  • - 6 tbsp risotto rice
  • - 1 egg
  • - 1 carrot
  • - 1 slice of bread soaked in milk
  • - 1 onion
  • - 100-150ml tomato paste
  • - 3 slices of smoked bacon
  • - 3 bael leaves
  • - 7 peppercorn
  • - salt


    1. Peel the cabbage leaves one by one, cut them in half if they are too big and remove the stork.
    2. Chop the onion and carrot and fry them in a bit of oil with the rice.
    3. Mix the mince meat with the egg, fried onion, the slice of bread and a pinch of salt(be careful not to put a lot of salt because the sour cabbage is already salted)
    4. Place a tbsp of meat on the cabbage leaf and roll it tight then push the ends in with your finger.
    5. Chop the rest of the cabbage you didn't use sprinkling half of it on the bottom of the pan then add the tomato paste and sliced bacon.
    6. Put the cabbage rolls in the pan.
    7. Cover the cabbage rolls with water then sprinkle the bael leaves, peppercorns and the rest of the chopped cabbage.
    8. Cover the pan with a lid and let it simmer for 1 hour or until the cabbage it's softened.
    9. Serve with mamaliga (polenta) and a chilly. ENJOY!!!

Comments, questions and tips

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21st Jan, 2017
not very authentic as Romanians will almost always use at least 50% pork mince in their sarmale
cookwithanna's picture
25th Mar, 2019
Thank you for your feedback however you will find every household has different ways of making sarmale. In my family we don’t eat pork that much so we used beef instead. I grew up with this recipe and can assure you is 100% authentic.
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