Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 5 small heads of cored cabbage

  2. 1 cup white vinegar

  3. 2 large onions, quartered

  4. 1 pound roughly chopped bacon

  5. 8 peeled garlic cloves

  6. 1 bunch celery, trimmed and roughly chopped

  7. 1 bunch parsley, stemmed

  8. 2 1/2 pounds ground chuck

  9. 2 1/2 pounds ground pork

  10. 2 1/2 pounds ground veal

  11. 2 cups uncooked rice

  12. 1/3 teaspoon cinnamon

  13. 1/3 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  14. 2 teaspoons paprika

  15. 1 tablespoon salt or to taste

  16. 4 large eggs

  17. 3 (32-ounce) jars or bags sauerkraut, drained

  18. 56 ounces tomato puree

  19. 46 ounces tomato juice

  20. 3 tablespoons sugar

  21. 8 whole cloves

  22. Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Note: These step-by-step instructions for making golabki , which are similar to sarma, might be helpful in making this recipe.

  2. Add vinegar to a very large pot of water and bring to a boil. Klara says the vinegar prevents the cabbage from falling apart. Boil the cabbages for about 5 minutes until the leaves begin to release from the heads. Peel the leaves off and place in a colander to drain and cool. Reserve the cabbage hearts.

  3. Place onions, bacon and garlic in a food processor and finely chop. In a very large Dutch oven or roaster, saute onion-bacon-garlic mixture. Meanwhile, finely chop the celery and parsley in the food processor and add to the onion-bacon-garlic mixture along with the beef, pork and veal. Cook until meat is evenly browned. Remove from heat and, if desired, drain off excess fat. Allow to cool.

  4. Heat oven to 500 degrees. If the inner leaves of the cabbage heads aren't pliable, return them to the boiling water for a few minutes. Trim the thick center vein of each leaf without piercing it. Add rice to meat mixture, and season with cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, and salt. Mix in eggs thoroughly. Place a handful of meat filling on each leaf. Flip up the bottom, then fold the sides in, and roll up. Any leftover filling can be frozen for later use.

  5. Chop the reserved cabbage hearts and, in a large bowl, mix with sauerkraut and tomato puree. Season with salt and pepper. Place some of this mixture on the bottom of a deep, large roasting pan. Cover with a layer of cabbage rolls, tightly packed. Press down and spoon on more sauerkraut mixture. Add another layer of cabbage rolls, running at a right angle to the first layer. Continue in this manner until all the cabbage rolls are in the pan. Top with remaining sauerkraut mixture and pour some of the tomato juice over it. Gently shake the pan to distribute the juice and add the rest of the tomato juice.

  6. Sprinkle with sugar and cloves. Cover and place in a 500-degree oven. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake 2 1/2 hours. Remove cloves before serving. Present two or three cabbage rolls per person with boiled potatoes and some of the sauerkraut mixture. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and paprika. Cooked stuffed cabbage will keep a long time in the freezer, if they are well sealed.


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