This is probably one of Romania’s 🇷🇴 most popular recipes. Funny thing about this one is the “inconsistency of the ingredients” being used by different cooks. If you ask ten people how to make Sarmale you will probably get ten different answers… I did. Lol!
Below is the recipe that I use. It contains a little bit from everyone, and I have eliminated what we don’t like, so feel free to “add or subtract” to your liking and make yet another variation of this fabulous dish. Most importantly, I hope you try and enjoy this because it is AMAZING!
◦ 2 pounds of ground beef &
◦ 1/4 cup of finely chop
smoked pork fat
◦ 3/4 cup of uncooked rice
◦ 1/4 cup of fresh chopped
◦ 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
◦ 1/2 cup of diced onions
◦ Salt, pepper and paprika to
◦ 1/4 cup of water
◦ One cabbage head; a “pickled”
cabbage head requires no further
maintenance other than cutting and
rolling. A raw cabbage head will
need a little bit more attention
first… you can either boil the entire
head till the leaves are softened
enough to pull them off without
breaking OR you can freeze the
cabbage head for at least 2 nights
and be sure to defrost the night
prior. Either method makes the
cabbage leaves soft and wet which
enables you to pull them from the
head without breaking the leaves.
◦ Mix everything listed above
together to make the
mixture look like this…
◦ Remove the cabbage leaves from
the head and cut the core (hard)
piece from the center of each leaf.
◦ Roll a tablespoon of the
mixture into each cabbage
leaf and tuck the ends
inward so that the rolls
looks like this…
◦ After all the cabbages are
rolled layer them in a tall
◦ Boil a pot of water
separately and then add it
into the pot with the rolls.
◦ Once the boiled water is in
the pot you can place it over
a medium burning burner.
Cook this on medium for
approximately 2 1/2 hours,
adding water whenever the
water isn’t visible on the top.
“Pofta Buna” is Romanian for “Enjoy your Meal” so I hope you follow this recipe and enjoy! 😋