Cabbage Rolls

Cabbage Rolls on a Plate

SARMA Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Prepared by Stana Kolundzija


  • 12 large leaves from the pickled cabbage
  • 3-4 Slices bacon
  • 1 Large onion, chopped
  • 4 Garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 Tomatoes, peeled
  • 500g Beef mince
  • 500g Pork mince
  • 70g Tomato Paste
  • 2 cubes Beef stock, crumbled
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Chicken and herb salt
  • Sweet paprika powder
  • 1 Egg
  • 6 Bay leaves
  • 1 cup white rice, rinsed
  • 1 kg Smoked Pork Ribs
  • 250gms Spec (smoked bacon)
  • 1-2 Large Leaves of pickled cabbage


  1. Heat small amount of oil in a deep pot.
  2. Add the onion, garlic and chopped bacon and fry until onion is translucent. 
  3. Roughly chop the tomatoes and add. 
  4. Then add the beef and pork mince, the tomato paste, crumbled stock cubes, paprika and salt and pepper. 
  5. Mix together thoroughly and cook for about 30 minutes or until the moisture evaporates.
  6. Beat the egg lightly and add. Rinse the rice in cold water and add to meat mixture along with the bay leaves. 
  7. Add more spices and salt if necessary after tasting the mixture.  The mixture should be quite dry.
  8. Take the sour cabbage leaves  and wash them thoroughly to remove any excess salt.
  9. Trim any hard bits of stem and cut in half.  Smaller leaves can be left whole.
  10. Place a spoonful of the meat mixture onto each individual cabbage leaf and roll it up, tucking the ends in so that the filling is secure.  Lay a couple of large outer leaves on the base of a deep greased pot, then begin packing the cabbage rolls on across the top.
  11. In between each layer of cabbage rolls place pieces of the chopped pork ribs and spec to add flavour.  Extra bay leaves can also be added at this stage.
  12. Continue making the cabbage rolls until all filling has been used up. 
  13. When pot is completely filled with the cabbage rolls, pour in water to fill up the pot (a little more tomato paste can be added to this water for extra flavour).  Then finally place on top some individual layers of sour cabbage leaves to cover all the cabbage rolls.  These leaves will hold in the flavour.  
  14. Place tight fitting lid on top and cook on stove top for about one hour.
  15. They can be left to rest while extra seasoning is prepared as the final touch. 

Ingredients for Extra Seasoning

  • 1 Garlic clove
  • Olive oil
  • Pinch chicken and herb salt
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp tomato paste


  1. Heat oil in a shallow frying pan, add the plain flour and mix until golden brown and then add all other ingredients and mix.  This should take about 5-10 mins.
  2. Remove the sour cabbage layers that were on top of the rolls and pour in the extra seasoning mixture.  Then place the cabbage leaves on top again as a cover and return to the stove to cook slowly for another 30 minutes. 

Makes approx. 22-24 cabbage rolls.

TIP:  This recipe can be made with fresh cabbage leaves.  Blanche the leaves in salted water to soften them before using.

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