Sarma, Stuffed Cabbage Leaves from Dalmatia

“This is from Saveurs de Croatie and is highly recommended by my dear friend in Serbia who says "We always want to take big pot home" when her mother in law makes it and invites the family.”
2hrs 30mins

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 pickled cabbage (you may also use kale for wraping)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 60 ml smoked bacon, in small pieces (1/4 cup)
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 head garlic, mince the cloves
  • 450 g ground beef (1 lb)
  • 450 g ground pork (or ham,1 lb)
  • 450 g diced tomatoes (1 lb, not drained)
  • 250 ml uncooked rice (1 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Remove any wilted or bruised leaves from the cabbage and cut out the center core.
  2. Pour boiling water over the cabbages to soften.
  3. Meanwhile, in the oil, sauté the bacon and onion until the bacon is cooked.
  4. Add minced garlic.
  5. Beat the egg and add the salt, pepper, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, ground beef, pork or ham and half the tomatoes.
  6. Add the bacon mixture and rice and combine thoroughly.
  7. Separate the cabbage leaves and drain.
  8. Place a heaping tablespoon of stuffing at the core end of each cabbage leaf and roll up carefully, tucking in the ends.
  9. Layer the rolls in a Dutch oven or heavy kettle.
  10. Chop up the small unused leaves and place on top.
  11. Pour the remaining tomatoes and juice over top and add enough water to cover the rolls.
  12. Cover and simmer for 2 to 2-1/2 hours.

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