- Yield: 40 - 50
Sarma (Stuffed Cabbage) ►
These classic meat-stuffed cabbage rolls are baked layered in sauerkraut and tomato sauce. Klara Cvitanovich, who claims Yugoslavia for her heritage, serves them with boiled potatoes. An added bonus: cooked stuffed cabbage will keep indefinitely in the freezer, tightly covered.
- Cabbage - 5 small heads, cored
- White Vinegar - 1 cup
- Onions - 2 large, quartered
- Bacon - 1 pound, roughly chopped
- Garlic Cloves - 6 to 8 peeled
- Celery - 1 bunch, trimmed and roughly chopped
- Parsley - 1 bunch, stemmed
- Ground Beef - 2-1/2 pounds
- Ground Pork - 2-1/2 pounds
- Ground Veal - 2-1/2 pounds
- Rice - 2 cups, uncooked
- Cinnamon - 1/3 teaspoon
- Nutmeg - 1/3 teaspoon, ground
- Paprika - 2 teaspoons
- Eggs - 4
- Sauerkraut - Three 32-ounce, drained
- Tomato Puree - 56 ounces
- Tomato Juice - 46 ounces
- Sugar - 3 tablespoons
- Cloves - 8 whole
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Fill a very large pot with water. Add vinegar and bring to a boil. Parboil the cabbages for about 5 minutes, until the leaves are tender. Remove the cabbage from the water, drain, and allow to cool. Finely chop the onion, bacon, and garlic cloves in a food processor. Saute the onion mixture in a large pot that has been preheated. Chop the celery and parsley in the food processor. Add to the onion and bacon along with the ground beef, pork, and veal. Cook until the meat is evenly browned. Remove from the heat and, if desired, drain off excess fat. Allow to cool. Carefully strip the cabbage leaves, reserving the hearts. If center leaves did not get completely cooked, return the heads to boiling water for a few more minutes.
Trim the thick part from each leaf. Add the rice to the meat mixture. Season with cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, salt, and pepper. Add the eggs and mix together thoroughly. Place a handful of the meat filling on each leaf. Tuck in the sides an roll. Any leftover filling can be frozen for future use.
Chop the cabbage hearts and lace in a large bowl. Add the sauerkraut and tomato puree. Toss and season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 500 F. Place some of the sauerkraut mixture on the bottom of a deep roasting pan. Cover with a layer of cabbage rolls, tightly packing them in the pan. Press down and spoon on more of the sauerkraut. Add another layer of cabbage rolls, running the opposite direction of the first. Finally, top with the remaining sauerkraut mixture. Pour some of the tomato juice over the cabbage. Gently shake the pan to distribute the juice. Add the rest of the tomato juice.
Sprinkle with the sugar and cloves. Cover and place in the oven. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to 350 F and bake for 2-1/2 hours. Remove the cloves before serving.
To serve: Present two or three cabbage rolls per person with boiled potatoes and some of the sauerkraut mixture. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and paprika.