Prep. time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
One of the most popular winter dishes in Croatia is the delicious stuffed cabbage known as sarma, a winter staple traditionally served on New Year’s Eve. There are many variations of sarma and numerous ways to prepare it. Here is Croatian chef Slavko Večerić's version.
This is a dish that is even better reheated. It can be stored in the fridge for several days.
- Dice the onions and sauté in a little oil in a skillet. Add the garlic.
- In a bowl, thoroughly combine the meat, salt, pepper, rice, chopped diced pancetta, paprika, egg and parsley. Add the onions and garlic and mix again.
- Remove the core of the sour cabbage and remove and reserve the larger leaves. Finely chop the remainder of the cabbage.
- Place a generous spoonful of the filling (2) onto each cabbage leaf; fold in the sides and roll up. Continue until the leaves and filling are used up.
- Place half the chopped cabbage and some pancetta in the bottom of a large pot.
- Place the cabbage rolls on top. Cover with the remaining chopped cabbage and pancetta and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. of paprika. Add enough water to cover.
- Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.Do not stir during cooking so as not to break the rolls. Shake the pot gently occasionally to prevent sticking.
- In a small pan, make a roux by browning the flour in an equal amount of oil until golden; add a spoonful of paprika and 125 to 200 ml of water. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.
- Pour the mixture over the cabbage and cook 10 minutes longer. The sarma are ready. Serve with mashed potato.
Photo credit: Visit Sinj
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