Transylvanian cabbage rolls

Sour cabbage is unwrapped and put in a bowl with hot water to desalinate a little. Peel the onion and cut it larger, if you opted for bell peppers, cut it into cubes.

Heat the oil in a thick-bottomed saucepan. Cook the onion and pepper until the onion turns slightly yellow without frying too much. Add the paprika, the washed and drained rice and cook a little.

Add the minced meat and leave for a while until it turns white.

Remove from the heat and add the smoke (if you have bacon cubes and they are small, you can put them as they are, if you don't chop them a little, but not very small; any other kind of smoke is chopped from the knife, not very small ) salt pepper.

If you only have chopped thyme, add about a teaspoon to the composition; if you have thyme twigs, shake them a little over the composition and the twigs will be added over the sarmale to boil.

The cabbage leaves are chosen, and the most broken and small ones are lightly chopped and added to the bottom of a double-bottomed pan or, ideally, to a clay pot.

The rib from the leaves is cut without piercing the leaf and a suitable amount of filling runs into each leaf. Whoever has patience can make them small, but I don't see the point, but maybe to impress the guests. However, do not make them too big or too thick because they will not boil well.

The sarmales are placed in the pot as you roll them. If you like fatty sarmales, you can insert slices of bacon or fat kaizer between them.

Don't forget the thyme twigs!

Add hot water to cover the sarmales and put them on a very low heat. The best sarmale are made on the edge of a wood stove, but as not many people have such a thing, I advise you to put a thick sheet over the flame from the stove. Especially if you use a clay pot, do not make the mistake of putting it directly on the flame.

If you have patience, they can be put in the oven, but it will take longer to boil them.

Be careful when filling the pot, leave enough space for the rice in them to swell!

During cooking, be careful of three aspects: do not stick to the bottom (if it smells burnt, it may have caught! Move them immediately to another pot, otherwise they taste bad) -if you use a good pot this does not it will happen; the second aspect: be careful not to overcook the rice, and the third - do not forget to check the water level - if it drops add more hot water, so that the ones above do not remain uncooked.

For people with sensitive intestines - I do not recommend eating sour cabbage leaf, it is difficult to digest even if it is very cooked.

Serve with sour cream to taste.

Traditional Sarmale ingredient in cabbage leaves

  • 1 kg minced meat mixture (pork + beef)
  • 2 yellow onions, suitable
  • 100 g lard
  • 100-150 g of concentrated tomato paste
  • 50 g small grain rice
  • 100 ml dry or semi-dry white wine www.simonacallas.com
  • 2 large sauerkraut
  • 1 tablespoon homemade or organic vegeta (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon grated dill (fresh or dried) chopped
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • Bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons peppercorns
  • 50-100 g kaizer / ham (optional)

Transylvanian cabbage rolls

A delicious recipe for Transylvanian sarmale from: minced meat, onion, sauerkraut, rice, smoked ciolan, salt, pepper and hot pepper.


  • 1 kg minced meat (beef / pork mixture)
  • 200 g smoked breaded bacon
  • 2 onions
  • 1 kg of sauerkraut
  • 3-4 strands of dried thyme
  • 150 g of rice
  • 500 g smoked hammer
  • salt
  • pepper
  • hot peppers

Method of preparation:

put the bacon in cubes and cook over low heat until they start to turn yellow. Put them over the meat and mix well, add finely chopped onion, rice, salt and pepper to taste. Knead the mixture well for homogenization.

Divide the sauerkraut into sheets, then place 1 tablespoon of meat mixture on each cabbage leaf. Roll the cabbage leaves and place them in a saucepan on a layer of chopped cabbage.

Put between the sarmale, thyme, hot peppers and pieces of smoked ciolan and cover everything with chopped cabbage.

Add enough water to cover the sarmales, and put the pan in the oven for about 2 hours.

Transylvanian sarmale for Christmas

Sarmales are indispensable on the holiday tables of the Roma, especially if we talk about the winter holidays. There are many recipes and ways to make sarmale and every housewife has her own secrets when it comes to this dish.

If you don't have a sarmale recipe that you like, we invite you to try the Transylvanian ones. They are made from a mixture of pork and beef, and the secret of their flavor lies in the smoked paprika and bacon. Tasty sarmales are the ones with the right percentage of fat, not the dull and dry ones.

  • 800 g minced pork
  • 200 g minced beef
  • 5 slices of smoked bacon
  • 2 onions
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 100 g of rice
  • 300 ml broth
  • salt
  • pepper
  • dried dill
  • thyme
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • pickled cabbage
  • Bay leaves

Finely chop the onion and harden it in two tablespoons of oil. Add the rice and cook for a few minutes. Pour everything over the minced meat. Add salt and pepper to taste, dill, thyme and paprika. Pour half of the broth and mix well, using your hands.

Choose cabbage for packing. You will use the most beautiful sheets for sarmale, and you will chop the small or broken ones and use them for the top and bottom layer.

Place a tablespoon of sarmale mixture on the cabbage leaf and roll tightly, taking care to seal the ends so that they do not fall apart during cooking.

Place a layer of cabbage leaves on the bottom of a bowl. Then follows a layer of sarmale, bay leaves and dill twigs. Another layer of sheets and so on until you finish placing the sarmales. Leave an empty place in the middle, which you will fill with the ham and chopped cabbage.

At the end, mix the remaining broth with water and pour over the sarmale to cover them. Cover everything with sauerkraut leaves.

Put it on the fire and let it boil for a few minutes, after which you can put the sarmales in the oven for 2 hours - 2 and a half hours. Rotate the sarmales from time to time so that they do not stick.

Put a little oil in a saucepan and cook the onion, add the rice and tomato paste and keep for about 5-7 minutes. Then mix well with the minced meat.

Add salt and pepper and other spices to taste.

Wash the cabbage with cold water, if it is too salty, leave it to soak in cold water. Cut the sarmale sheets. The meat is placed on cabbage leaves and wrapped to form sarmale.

In the pan in which the sarmales are to be placed, put a few pieces of bacon and dill sticks, then put the finely chopped cabbage and then place the sarmales in the pan.

In order for the cabbage to boil very well, the sarmales are boiled for 60 minutes (the first 40 minutes after boiling are boiled over medium heat, and the next 20 minutes over low heat).

After 60 minutes of boiling, it is recommended that the stuffed cabbage be placed in the hot oven to get a reddish appearance.

Sarmales with sour cabbage and meat are served with sour cream and hot peppers.

10 tips for successful sarmale

I give you some useful tips to help beginners in the process of preparing these delicious sarmale.

1. Pickled cabbage it would be good to be homemade, put by you. I have the old family recipe (Transylvanian) after which I put cabbage in the barrel every year & # 8211 see here. If the cabbage is too sour or too salty then it can be rinsed quickly with cold water (sheet by sheet). Tip: get ready with 2-3 sauerkraut so you can choose the most beautiful leaves! The small leaves in the center will be chopped and placed at the bottom and surface of the pot, they can be frozen or used in a delicious Cabbage from Cluj (recipe here).

2. Meat for sarmale it would be better to be a fatter one because the fat makes the brine tender. I use greasy leg, shoulder and pork breast that I grind (heel) at home. Some people put beef in the composition of sarmale, but in our house it is not common.

3. Rice and onions from the composition they also give tenderness to the sarmales. Do not overdo it with rice to "multiply" the filling! I put 10% rice compared to the amount of meat & # 8211 that is 100 g of rice per 1 kg of minced meat. Some put the raw rice and onions, but I fry them for a few minutes with a little oil. Sarmalas with hardened rice and onions seem much tastier to me. No way DO NOT lay raw eggs in the composition of sarmale because they will strengthen it!

4. Seasoning (seasoning) the stuffed cabbage it is made to taste. I add salt, pepper, dried thyme and paprika. Do not overdo it with salt because sauerkraut is also salty! Instead, be generous with the pepper so that the stuffing doesn't have to be faded. Anyone can add dill, green parsley or even tomato juice or broth.

5. Sarmale modeling it is also made according to preferences & # 8211 larger or smaller. Cabbage leaves often dictate the size of the cabbage rolls. The stalks are removed and only the thin parts are used. It is important to wrap the process (twisting, wrapping) so that the filling is tightly closed.

6. Building the sarmales in the pot it is not done according to a fixed rule. At the bottom of the pot put a layer of chopped sour cabbage (there are also stalks cut from the leaves), a few sprigs of dried thyme and a little chopped onion (that's how I put it). Then arrange the sarmales in layers and intersperse with the pieces of smoked or raw meat. They can be arranged concentrically or in straight rows. They should not be piled up because the rice in them will increase their volume when cooked! Continue layering until the vessels are full. However, 3-4 cm must be left free for the juice in which the sarmales are boiled to take place.

7. Above the sarmales thus built again put a layer of chopped cabbage and sprigs of thyme. The best cabbage rolls are boiled in cabbage mill diluted with water. The liquid must contain the sarmales well. The rice in them will absorb a lot of liquid so it needs to be supplemented from time to time. This time I also put 2 good cups of thick tomato juice. It gives them a pleasant yellowish-reddish color and a specific aroma. I don't put bay leaves in sarmala sauce, but many do.

8. The actual boiling of the sarmales it takes place either in a metal pot placed on a direct fire (on the stove) or in the oven (in metal or ceramic pots). In both cases the sarmales are boiled under the lid and over low heat. Boiling the sarmales (on low heat) takes approx. 1.5 & # 8211 2 hours calculated from the moment they boil in mass. The tastiest sarmale are made in the oven, at a low temperature (150 C) and their cooking takes 3-4 hours. And in their case the liquid must be filled from time to time. At the end, remove the lid from the ceramic pot and let the sarmales brown for about 30 minutes at 180 C. Be careful not to burn them! This browned cabbage is not to everyone's liking, so you choose whether to do so or not.

9. It should be said that the sarmales are tastier if they are left to rest for 1-2 hours in the pot or pot in which they were cooked and that they seem to be even better in the following days, reheated.

10. Serving sarmales it is made according to the family traditions of each one: with homemade bread, with a rolled-up polenta and cut with a thread (recipe here), with fresh or pickled sour cream and hot peppers, etc. In Moldova or Oltenia I have heard that hot sarmales are eaten with colds (pork meatball & # 8211 recipe here). I didn't try the combination.

Let's get to work and make some traditional Romanian sarmale! Out of 1 kg of minced meat, 50 sarmale come out. I used 500 g of minced meat, I obtained 25 medium sarmale.

Authentic Transylvanian sarmale

I like sarmales and this seriously damages my diet, but I realized that each of us deserves from time to time a culinary getaway that we will remember with pleasure until the next one. Sarmale networks are many, about as many housewives exist in these lands. But I will share my recipe for Transylvanian sarmale that does not revolutionize the notion of wire, but the truth is that they are very good.

900 g minced pork (fat)

2-3 pickled cabbages (or as many as you need)

100 g rice (for sarmale)

100 ml white wine (I used Wormwood)

1 cup sunflower oil

Ground black pepper and berries

Finely chop the onion and pepper and lightly fry them in oil together with the rice, which we wash well, in two or three waters, and strain it. Cover the sauerkraut with cold water, so that the salt comes out, for half an hour.

Cut the bacon into cubes, and mix half of it with the minced meat, ground pepper, paprika, finely chopped dill, salt and thyme. We keep the other half for the end.

As soon as the vegetables and the rice have hardened (3-4 minutes), let them cool, then add the composition over the minced meat and mix well.

The composition should be enough for about 50 average sarmales, but the number may differ depending on how you handle their rolling. I suggest you watch the videos on the internet, so that you have the lowest possible losses. However, what is left of the cabbage, put it on the bottom of the pot or kettle.

You have two options to treat them thermally: in the clay pot, in the oven or in the pot / kettle on the fire. This time I chose the pot / kettle, because I want them more juicy.

As I was telling you, take the leftover sauerkraut and upholster the bottom of the pot, then place the sarmales in a circular shape to gain space. On top we will put the remaining bacon, tomato juice, peppercorns, wine and water to complete. I also add a few sprigs of thyme.

I suggest you use a plate to keep the stuffing in the water. The lid may require a general cleaning of the kitchen.

Normally, the cooking time is two hours, on a relatively low heat, but try them along the way. You will find yourself with some greasy and sinful stuffed cabbage, but that's what it's all about.

Transylvanian cabbage rolls


- 1 kg of minced pork (or 3/4 kg of pork and 1/4 kg of minced beef)
- smoked bone
- smoked ribs
- 200 g of rice
- 2 chopped onions
- 2 eggs
- 4 tablespoons lard (if you do not have, you can put oil)
- 1 kg of finely chopped cabbage
- 1 whole sauerkraut
- 2 tablespoons of paprika
- chopped garlic
- salt, pepper, thyme and marjoram - to taste
- sour cream for service

1. Boil the rice in a bowl with plenty of water, salt and a little oil for 10 minutes.
2. Fry the onion in lard / oil until lightly golden.
3. Put the fried onion, minced meat and garlic, boiled rice and 1 tablespoon of paprika in a large bowl and season with salt, pepper, a little thyme and marjoram, to taste. Mix well using a wooden spoon. It's fun to use your hands!
4. Unwrap the pickled cabbage and choose the right size leaves - depending on how big you like them sarmale ardelenesti.
5. Fill these sheets with the obtained mixture and roll them, pressing them lightly on the ends so that they do not fall apart during boiling.
6. Put (preferably in a traditional clay pot or in a simple, very deep pot) a layer of chopped cabbage on the bottom of the pot, generously spread pieces of ciolan and ribs for that aroma "smoked, another layer of cabbage and then one of sarmale ardelenesti. Repeat the procedure several times until you fill the bowl (or until you finish the ingredients).
7. Put the sauerkraut on top and season with the other teaspoon of paprika, thyme and marjoram, to taste (don't add much salt because the sauerkraut is already very salty).
8. Add water and cabbage juice, covering almost completely the layers of cabbage and sarmale ardelenesti. Some families also add slices of tomato or broth mixed with water to emphasize the sour taste.
9. Boil over low heat, without stirring, for up to 4 hours in the oven, always checking that there is still liquid.

Add sour cream only when serving!

This is my grandmother's traditional recipe sarmale ardelenesti, delicious, tasty and with a special taste, which helped me to have a small part of Romania (or at least Transylvania) wherever I was in the world!

Transylvanian Sarmalute

  • Minced meat (pork mix with beef) & # 8211 800 grams
  • sweet or pickled cabbage 3 kg
  • 4 onions
  • tomato broth - 100 grams
  • water or meat soup 1.5 liters
  • paprika a tablespoon
  • lard or oil & # 8211 250 grams
  • rice & # 8211 100 grams
  • pepper & # 8211 5 gr
  • thyme 2 gr
  • smoked ribs 300 grams
  • salt & # 8211 to taste

The meat is mixed with rice (hardened together with the onions before), ground pepper, thyme, paprika and salt.
Separately, choose the cabbage leaves (without tears), cutting them into suitable pieces. The stuffed meat is made from the prepared meat composition. Take the cabbage leaf, put a little of the meat composition in the middle of it (the size of a large walnut), wrap it in the shape of a roll, and insert the ends of the roll with your finger inside, thus obtaining the shape of a wire.

Put them in a pot together with the ribs, cover them with water and simmer.
Before removing from the heat, pour the tomato broth over the sarmale, leave for another 5 minutes, and then remove from the heat.
Serve with sour cream.

How to make Transylvanian and Muntenian sarmale like Radu Anton Roman

Sarmaua is a word of Arabic-Turkish origin, and the original recipe referred to a beef leaf stuffed with rice and raisins. However, in our country this dish has come to be loaded with meanings that have come to define our traditions and national identity.

For example, at Christmas the sarmau becomes an important component of the Romanian Orthodox Christian ritual.

"The housewife boils for the Eve table from all kinds of dishes, to bear fruit over the year. The grain is eaten for the village, because after the man's grain the thirst comes immediately and the village feels leave the sarmales and leave them behind, for they are the nations, they have been torn to pieces in the pot, one boils and boils and the other nothing hurts but the nation. sweet, I do not mock you. But first to taste the fish, so that you do not have colds over the year ", wrote Elena Niculita-Voronca in the Traditions and beliefs of the Romanian people gathered and placed in mythological order.

Today, because there are only a few days until Christmas, we tell you how you can make Transylvanian or Muntenian sarmale according to two recipes by Radu Anton Roman:

Chop onions and greens (and hot peppers, if you are a learned person with these), grate the carrots.

Mix everything, minced meat, onion, carrots, greens, rice, pepper and tomato paste, wine - salt, pepper, thyme and dill powder, as desired.

Fill the sheets, roll and clog at the ends (not too tight, to swell the rice) - You can make them bigger, smaller, as is your pleasure and skill, just not to boil.

A thick clay pot is greased with lard.

Then arrange cabbage leaves and a layer of chopped cabbage on the bottom.

Now comes the first layer of sarmale, followed by another layer of cabbage, sprinkled with tomato paste, pepper, then sarmale again, until the pot is filled.

The last layer is of cabbage sprinkled with bay leaves, thyme and dill (pepper, salt, paprika to taste) and slices of tomato broth.

Mix the broth with the wine, heat a little, pour over the sarmale.

Cover and simmer - in no case directly on the flame - to wave and simmer from 5 hours onwards - the juice should drop by half, even two-thirds of the pot.

It is offered hot (especially the next day, because then they are well cooked) with sour cream, hot peppers, hot polenta and very good wine.

Cook the onion a little in fat, then add all the meat, brain and, after a while, rice.

Mix everything well, let it change color, then match the food with salt, pepper, paprika, let it cool, add 2 beaten eggs, mix well and fill the cabbage leaves.

The Transylvanian sarmales are as big as possible.

The filling is soft, watery, twisted into a large sheet, not too tight.

In a large, wide pot of earth, on the bottom greased with lard, a layer of mice and smoked meat, slices of cisca, then chopped cabbage cloth, then a layer of sarmale with smoked among them, sprigs of dill and thyme and so on so on.

The last layer is cabbage. Pour the sauce, leave the pot on the edge of the stove, to wave, and a whole night (do not forget that Chardonnay, Traminer, Pinot Gris and Muscat de Jidvei are those white wines that frantically mix scents of ragweed and nectar with satanic scents, acidic fragrances with debauched slips, vain elegance, restless play-boy with concentrations and eloquence of promotion bosses - in short: wines with deceptively floral aromas, but with a surprisingly generous taste, well bound, dry if vain).

Video: Transylvanias Dark Side and Folklore Tradition (November 2021).