From the two pickled cabbages, we take out sheets as equal in size as possible, we cut their stalks so that we can easily roll them and the sarmales have a beautiful appearance.
Prepare the meat filling, as follows: Over the minced pork add the washed rice and drain well. Season with salt, pepper, add finely chopped onion and sprinkle with freshly chopped thyme. We mix everything very well and we start to form the sarmalutes.
Take a pickled cabbage leaf, put a pile of meat at the bottom of the leaf, roll well and insert the edges inside so that the wire does not come loose after boiling. We do this with the whole meat composition.
In a clay pot, place a thin layer of chopped sauerkraut, then place concentrically, the formed sauerkraut. When the first start of sarmalute is finished, we add from time to time the bay leaves, the broth and the sprigs of fresh thyme.
Make another layer of sarmale and finish with a layer of finely chopped sauerkraut. Cover everything with water, put the lard at the temperature of the canary and place the pot on the flame, to boil.
When it starts to boil, put everything in the preheated oven at 220 degrees, for 1-1.5 hours.
You have to keep in mind that for cabbage rolls you can only use cabbage with thin leaves. In order for your small sarmales to come out, you make them only from the top of the very thin leaves, without thick ribs. If the cabbage is too sour or too salty, wash it in 2-3 warm waters, both whole and chopped leaves. If you can't stand the acreage, put it in boiling water for 3 minutes, without the leaves softening. If the leaf is small, cut the bulging part of the rib on the back of the leaf, without piercing the leaf, and if the leaf is larger, cut it along the rib, on either side of it, removing the rib.
Pass the beef through the mincer, together with the hardened onion, for 2 minutes, with two tablespoons of oil. Add the chopped washed and drained rice and a pinch of pepper or a teaspoon of allspice which is not very hot and gives a very good taste. Chicken salt only if necessary, because the cabbage leaves enough salt anyway. Add 200 ml of water to 100 g of rice. Beat until incorporated into the mince, so that it is fluffy and the rice has a liquid in which to boil, before the meat coagulates around it.
Place a cabbage leaf on the palm or on the table and put a teaspoon of chopped, so that it remains 2 cm to both ends of the leaf. Turn a narrow end of the leaf over the roll and bring a long end of it over the meat, rolling them together to the other end of the leaf. With your hand, insert the end that remained free. If you wrap them like this, the sarmales will not open when boiled.
After you have made all the sarmalute, you put the remaining leaves on top of each other and start to cut them as fine as the noodles.
Now you are getting ready to boil them. You need a pot of 4-5 l. Put half the amount of chopped cabbage on the bottom of the pot, and over it the stuffed cabbage in rows. You can put some smoked among the sarmale.
Top with the rest of the chopped cabbage. For flavor and taste, add 1-2 bay leaves and about 20 peppercorns, a sprig of thyme and finely chopped dill. For color, add 100 ml of tomato juice that will color beautifully the fat that will rise above the cabbage.
Pour enough boiling water to cover them, cover and simmer over medium heat until boiling, then reduce the heat. The sarmales are boiled for about 2 hours.
These delicious beef sarmale you can serve them with sour cream at the table. If you prefer other meat, the preparation is identical.
Supreme test: sarmale
For a long time I was convinced that the sarmale recipe will be the one I will open this blog with. They're so obsessed with stuffed cabbage. Good stuff, that would be a problem. You don't really find such a thing in Bucharest. I was very close, at one point, to make a T-shirt with sarmale and I really wanted to buy my sarmale.ro domain, but without success.
Sarmales are a fundamental part of my culinary education and I have an almost religious respect for them. I ate sarmale dump trucks as a child, in a multitude of variants, so many that I ended up developing quite high sensitivities to all types of sarmale. Unfortunately, the offer of urban restaurants is quite pale compared to what the idea of real, tasty sarmale means. Those sarmale that made this recipe famous all over the world.
There are some very important details, in which I believe a lot and from which the deviation is, in general, very small. And let's face it, we're talking about the sarmales I make, I don't claim to have the formula for the perfect sarmales. No one can claim that, by the way, believe me.
- the quality of the cabbage is essential. pickled cabbage, necessarily pickled, makes half the final result. it is important that it is not very salty, which means soaking it for about an hour in lukewarm water, and that it tastes good. to eat fresh out of the barrel, to like and want more. I recently bought a cabbage from a store, in addition to the fact that it cost me 16 lei a piece, it tasted like slightly canned tuna, but seasoned with vinegar. do not imagine that this will not affect the quality of the sarmales, even kept for a while in water.
- I believe more in pork. usually the ratio is 50 to 50. pork with beef. for me the ratio is much higher towards pork and I would have no problem if I used only pork.
- the bacon must be smoked. don't mess with kaizer taken from the store or other such nonsense. don't make fun of sarmale. grab them only after you get some real stuffed bacon, kept in the smokehouse behind the yard.
- the pot is also an important part here. I use a cast iron one, healthy, I would kiss your forehead if you listened to me and invested in something like this, in this life, sometime, but as soon as possible.
- the sarmale pot can be kept on the fire or in the oven. I combine both options, one hour on low heat, then at least two hours in the oven.
- there are no sarmale without dill. I know, I know very well that there is a large percentage of unfortunates who do not accept dill in their lives. maybe, however, it's time to make peace with this sometimes so unwanted plant. Dill, after so many hours of cooking, will not stand out in the final taste, but, believe me, it will enrich it. That's why I say, maybe you should give it a try, though.
- put wine to boil. not just wine, but not just water.
- the more you reheat them, the tastier they will become. that's the magic of stuffed cabbage, god help us and let's get to work.
- one kg of minced pork
- 300 gr minced beef
- two finely chopped onions
- a few slices of well-smoked bacon
- half a cup of rice, an amount that can be raised to a full cup, I don't see the point, I prefer less rice. which must be washed well in a few waters
- 3 tablespoons broth
- 50-100 grams of duck lard, you can find it in stores, look for it, otherwise, if it's not lard, it goes with some oil, but I insist it should be that duck lard
- chopped dill
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme
- freshly ground pepper
- white wine, dry, about 300 ml, and the rest water, for boiling
- two pickled cabbages, large, size XXL
Fry the onion in a little lard, just enough to turn yellow. Add the rice & don't forget to wash it - lightly fry it and quench it with a little water. Some put a tablespoon of broth next to the fried rice in the pan. I skip this stage, mix the broth with water, a little sugar and pour over the sarmale at the end, when the pot is full. Yes, it's still there.
It mixes with the meat, don't be afraid to use your hand, it's more efficient that way. Put the chopped dill, salt, pepper, a little green thyme and a cup of water. Or come, rather. I put cider. And it was good. Mix all this again.
And here comes another little secret. Which I really care about. From those slices of smoked bacon, which you put among the sarmale, take two or three of them and chop them as small as possible. Mix with the meat. It's not a recipe for dieters, but these are the details that make the difference.
Let the meat rest and take care of the cabbage. By the way, you also drink a little brandy in the meantime, what the hell !, we are human. Remove the spine, then unfold the leaves, one by one and cut the large ribs. How to pack, here I think a beginner would do best with a video. It's more efficient that way. I don't have it, and from everything I've found, I recommend filming here. There are several techniques for packing sarmales, this is the simplest, from what I found. And very good.
Now comes the coolest part, climbing the furniture into the pot. The first layer, on the bottom of the pot, is finely chopped cabbage, fidelity. The slices of bacon follow, these will sit here like a bed for sarmale. Layers in layers. Probably 2-3, depending on the pot. Place the thyme sprigs and duck lard between them, and top with another layer of finely chopped cabbage. Thick enough that the sarmales are almost invisible. Pour the wine and water mixed with the broth and, say, a teaspoon of sugar, but be careful that the liquid level does not exceed the level of the sarmales.
Cover with a lid, put the pot on the fire, and when it starts to boil, the fire becomes small, as small as possible. After an hour, throw the pot in the oven at 150 degrees. After another two hours, it would be good to check the amount of liquid in the pot, but also the first wire. You will then know for yourself whether they should be left or not.
Ingredients Sărmăluțe in vines with pork
- 42-50 fresh vine leaves, with an approximate size of 12-15 cm. diameter
- 1 kg. fatter pork (I chopped pork shoulder)
- 80 grams of round grain rice, washed in cold water and drained
- 150 grams of finely chopped onion
- 1 bunch of finely chopped green dill
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- optional: 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika, as fragrant as possible
- 2-3 fresh, large, scalded and peeled tomatoes or 150 ml. of thick broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- optional: thyme sprigs + bay leaves to add to the boil
- optional: 1 glass of borscht, if you want a sharp sour taste of the sarmales (the vine leaves are already sour themselves)
Preparation of sauerkraut
Preparation of vine leaves
1. Wash the vine leaves well, in several cold waters, soak them with paper towels (or between two clean cloth towels) and put them in a bowl. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of coarse salt and add boiling water to cover them. Cover the bowl with a lid or plate and leave for about 10 minutes (how long we take the ingredients for the filling).
2. For the filling of these sauerkraut in vine leaves, I preferred the "raw" version. I mean, I never hardened onions and rice in oil. I did the same with the recipe for sarmale with sweet cabbage. I thought it was summer, the pork is quite greasy and it really doesn't make sense to load the dish with oil. If you want, you can harden the onion enough to soak in 2-3 tablespoons of oil. Optionally, add the rice, let everything cool and then add this composition over the minced meat.
This time, I just mixed all the ingredients in a bowl, kneading them well with perfectly clean hands and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste (more pepper goes).
Filling the buns
3. One by one, take a sheet of scalded vine. Sit in the palm of your left hand (or right, if you are left-handed) with the side with the most prominent ribs facing up. Take an amount about the size of a walnut from the filling. It is ovalized and placed over the leaf. Following this portioning, I found 43 vines in vine leaves, 6-7 cm. length and 3 cm. diameter.
4. Cover one of the ends of the "sausage" stuffing, folding the vine leaf over it.
5. From the base of the leaf (the place where the tail was) roll the vine leaf with the filling in the middle. Roll the sauerkraut in medium-tight vine leaves, so that the rice swells a little when boiling. One of the ends, the one I have already folded, will fix the cord so that it does not come loose. At the other end, the free edges of the vine leaf gently tuck inward.
6. In this way, we will obtain sarmlets in tightly closed vine leaves, which keep their shape very well. Under no circumstances will they dissolve during cooking. Ideally, you should form them as even as possible. Thus, they will be cooked at the same time and will be much more attractive.
Note: these vines in vine leaves are packed exactly the same as those in pickled cabbage leaves. The technique is the same and if you've never done sarmale before, it may be helpful to watch the video below. It's been years since I made it, the quality of the filming is not great but what is certain is that the technique of folding the stuffed cabbage has certainly not changed.
7. I arranged the remaining scalded vine leaves (5 in number) at the base of a pot of the right size. A clay pot in my case, I recommend you to use a pot with thicker walls. On top of them I arranged the 43 wires.
I added pieces of scalded and peeled tomatoes among the vines in vine leaves, which you can replace with broth. I have already specified this in the list of ingredients. If, in addition to the natural sourness of the leaves and the one given by the tomatoes, you want some more sour sarmale, you can add 1 glass of borscht to the boil. I did not add anything other than an extra flavor, ie some sprigs of thyme and 2 fresh bay leaves.
I covered everything with hot water. Be about 2-3 good fingers above the sarmales. I fixed the sachets in vine leaves in their place, placing a flat plate on top with the concave side down. I put them to boil over low heat, under the lid. I boiled them for 2 hours, that is, until the vine leaves lost their specific harshness.
Once well cooked, these vines in vine leaves can be eaten immediately. They are good hot or lukewarm (my husband loves them cold). I go with cream, yogurt, dill sauce, whose recipe you can find here or & # 8230 simply. In any variant, they are delicious, so I wish you good work and great appetite!
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Iulia Visinescu, October 22, 2014
Adry Bragau, October 4, 2014
Tamara Panaete, July 16, 2014
only meat and vegetables are without meat, among them the pieces of smoked mutton sausages are boiled
Natalia Balan, May 7, 2014
Aurelia Boncut, April 10, 2014
, instead of sifted you can put mushrooms, they are wonderful good
Iuliana Andrei, March 26, 2014
they are very good..and we make them without sausages..they are also fasting.
Lili Rusu, March 25, 2014
I did too, they are very good, I recommend them to the ladies to try.
burdulea maria elena (Chef de cuisine), July 14, 2012
I also make fasting sarmalute, they are very good!
constanta proca (Chef de cuisine), June 3, 2010
dicarmencitta1957 (Chef de cuisine), April 27, 2010
A goodness, with an exceptional presentation. The color palette makes the food even better, congratulations and you have my vote.
burdulea maria elena (Chef de cuisine), April 24, 2010
I can't detach myself from the images, I kept looking at the sarmale, how beautiful they are. Congratulations Shari! I also stated that you are a very good housewife, but I find you a good photographer.
murigneau (Chef de cuisine), February 21, 2010
Eternal and fascinating. sarmale! No more watering! Bravo!
Cely, do them one day, they're so good. Cerboaicaiubita. that's how they were! Carmencita, thank you very much!
dicarmencitta1957 (Chef de cuisine), February 12, 2010
Superb presentation. A very interesting recipe that deserves to be tested. Beautifully presented, a multitude of colors, an arrangement like a book. Congratulations, you have my vote and a grade of 10 with many stars. I saved the recipe. Success in as many such recipes as possible. .
Cerboaicaiubita (Chef de cuisine), February 12, 2010
Cely Snijec (Chef), February 12, 2010
Piri Piri and Cinnamon (Chef de cuisine), February 11, 2010
Thank you girls. they turned out delicious, indeed. The secret lies in CIMBRU! It gives them a sour taste, a special aroma. Try! They are so easy to make!
Sarmale with meat and thyme - Recipes
Sarmalele, also called dumplings in the Bucovina area, have a certain specificity - they are small (not "crowded" as in other parts of the country), and are usually made in clay pots and in a roll (oven), over low heat. of wood. The unmistakable, absolutely delicious taste of Bucovina sarmales is due to the carefully chosen ingredients and, especially, to the quality of the meat and smoked bacon in the household, as well as to the preparation over low heat and in clay or tuci (cast iron) dishes.
- Ingredients: 1 kg pork (or, mixed, 700 g pork and 300 g beef), 200 g smoked bacon (mandatory), 1 cup full of rice, 2 onions, 3 tablespoons tomato paste, a dill and parsley. , 1 tablespoon grated paprika, salt and pepper to taste (2 tablespoons grated salt and 1 teaspoon grated pepper), 2 sprigs of dried thyme and a few peppercorns, a little lard or oil for hardening, a few thin slices of homemade kaizer, 1 cup dry white wine or cabbage juice (optional), 1 larger sauerkraut with thin leaves.
- Preparation: finely chop the onion and fry in lard or oil, and, when it becomes glassy, quench it with a spoonful of tomato paste and mix a little, on the fire. Separately, the rice is washed well in 2 waters. The minced meat, over which is added smoked bacon cut into small cubes, mix with onions, rice, chopped greens, paprika, salt and pepper. Choose the cabbage leaves that are rinsed in cold water, in order to take them away from the salty taste, and in each leaf a spoonful of the previously obtained filling is placed and rolled. In a suitable deep pot, at the bottom of which a layer of chopped cabbage was placed, the rows of sarmale (dumplings) are placed, among them the smoked slices (kaizer). Put the thyme sprigs and a few peppercorns on the last row of cabbage rolls, then cover with whole pickled cabbage leaves. Pour water as close as possible to the composition, and, according to taste, you can add a cup of cabbage juice or a cup of dry white wine, then place the pot to simmer. When the juice decreases (about 1 hour from the time of boiling), take the cabbage leaves on top and add the other 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, filling with hot water to cover the sarmales again. Cover everything again with the cabbage leaves and let it boil, also over low heat, for about 2 more hours (at this stage, the pot of sarmale can be left on the fire on the stove / stove or can be put in the oven). After the sarmale shell is tender and fragrant, they are ready.
- How to serve: Bucovina sarmales are served hot, sprinkled with sour cream, along with hot polenta.
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What ingredients do we use for Sarmale in the nest, the old recipe step by step
Quantities for 30 generous servings & # 128578
- For stuffing sarmales
- 200 g of smoked bacon
- 50 ml of oil
- 1 kg of onion
- 2 large carrots
- 1 jar of 370 g broth
- a teaspoon of grated paprika
- 400 g of rice
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley tip (2 bindings)
- 1 tablespoon dried dill (2-3 bundles)
- 3 kg of minced meat, pork and beef mixture
- 10 juniper berries
- 10 coriander seeds
- a teaspoon of red pepper
- 1 & frac12 tablespoon of salt
- ground black pepper
- pickled cabbage
- a jar of 370 g of tomatoes in its own juice
- Bay leaves
- For & bdquosurprises & rdquo
- smoked bacon
How to prepare Sarmale in the nest, the old recipe step by step
- Melt in a pan 200 g of smoked bacon, cut into cubes, over which we add 50 ml of oil.
- Stir, and when the bacon has melted, add 1 kg of onion. I used white onions and red onions, you can use whatever you have. Add two large carrots, put on a small grater. The carrot will give an orange color and a special sweetness to our sarmales.
- Stir continuously for 10-15 minutes so that it does not stick. Until the onion softens a little, but without frying. We just want it to become slightly translucent and sweet.
- We add a jar of pepper paste broth with tomatoes, of 370 g, a teaspoon of grated paprika, 400 g of rice. I recommend using round and large grain rice.
- Mix everything on the fire for a maximum of 5 minutes, until everything is uniform.
- Turn off the heat and add a tablespoon of dried parsley and a tablespoon of dried dill, or 1-2 fresh bundles. Stir again. Let everything cool very well.
- Over the onion and rice composition add 3 kg of minced pork and beef. Over this we add the spices. I used 10 coriander seeds, 10 allspice seeds and a tablespoon of red pepper, which I ground.
Sarmale in the nest, old recipe step by step
- Add half a tablespoon of salt, a tablespoon of thyme, a teaspoon of black pepper.
- Mix everything carefully, very well, until you get a uniform consistency.
- We are now preparing sauerkraut for the sarmale. We choose the big, beautiful leaves, we cut and keep the stalks. We cut the leaves about a palm, we make the small stuffing, not very big. Squeeze the cabbage leaves into a fist, squeeze the juice.
- We're making sarmalutes now. We always turn the leaf with the glossy side down, we put the composition of sarmale, then we roll it tightly. I put the ends inside with a finger, I uniformed and I got a stuffing. We do the same with all the sarmalutes.
- We prepare the tray in which we will put the cabbage nests, we cut the cabbage stalks into small strips. We add a jar of tomatoes in their own juice, a quarter teaspoon of thyme, pepper as we take with three fingers and a bay leaf. Mix everything well, to be uniform.
- We prepare the cabbage leaves to wrap the nests, we cut the ribs, and from a big cabbage leaf we get two packages, we cut it in two.
- We place three sarmales, we cut a piece of sausage the size of sarmales, we place a piece of smoked neck on top, then we pack everything. On top we put another piece of smoked bacon.
- We place the stuffed cabbage in the nest in the tray.
- Fill with enough water to cover the sarmales, cover the tray with aluminum foil, for 15 minutes let everything simmer until it boils, then reduce the heat to 160-170 degrees Celsius and leave them in the oven for about 3 hours.
- After this time, I turn off the oven and leave them in the oven until the next day, the baking will take longer and we will get a fantastic result. The sarmales will be tender, sticky, soft, they will melt in your mouth. Absolutely perfect!
Presentation and serving for Sarmale in the nest, old recipe step by step
Place a sarmale nest on the plate, with 1-2 tablespoons of sauerkraut and serve with polenta or bread fresh, hot peppers, sour cream or horseradish, to taste.
These sarmalute in the nest are very effective, and I don't talk about taste anymore. They disappear immediately and it is a great pleasure to watch the others open their nests in amazement and delight, to see what they contain & # 128578
You can also add in the nest assorted sarmale, fasting and with meat, or wrapped differently, in cabbage slices, linden, vine & hellip
Don't forget the secret ingredient: sprinkle abundantly with love and a touch of goodness!
Good appetite! and I invite you to see the video recipe:
If you are a fan of lighter dishes, try to replace the classic recipe for sarmale with pork, cooking them with beef. Another peculiarity of these sarmale is that they will be cooked with sweet cabbage, not sour cabbage.
Ingredients for 25-30 Sarmale with beef
800 g beef broth
250 g mushrooms
200-250 ml mashed tomatoes
60 g of boiled rice
2 raw cabbages
150 g sm & acircnt & acircnă
500 ml borscht
50 ml oil
50 g butter
parsley / dill (one link)
Preparation time e: 2 and a half hours - 3 hours
Three sarmale recipes. With mixture, poultry and rice
Sarmales with sour cabbage are not missing from the Romanians' Christmas table. You can fill them with beef or pork, chicken or just rice, according to your preferences. Choose from the three sarmale recipes, your favorite ones.
With a mixture of pork and beef
Ingredient: a large sour cabbage, 800 g minced meat (mixture), 200 g ribs or smoked bacon, a smoked stalk, 3 onions, 100 ml oil, 180 g rice, two tablespoons thyme, salt, pepper, a tablespoon chopped parsley, 250 ml tomato paste
Preparation: the cabbage is prepared. Cut the stalks and if it is too salty, wash it. Peel an onion, finely chop and sauté in oil. When it has become crystalline, add the minced meat and the smoked muscle cut into small pieces. Mix well and when the meat has changed color, add rice, parsley, salt, pepper and thyme. Mix and add 200 ml of tomato paste. Leave to cool. Take each leaf, put a teaspoon of the prepared filling, but not too much for the rice to swell when boiled. Roll all the stuffing until the meat is done. The remaining cabbage is cut into strips or pieces and divided into two. Half is placed on the bottom of the pot in which the sarmales will be boiled, so that they do not stick to the bottom of it, and the other half over the sarmales, so that they do not float when cooked. Choose a fairly large pot, which is filled 3/4 full of sarmale. After placing the cabbage on the bottom of the pot, place the sarmales one by one, starting from the outside, towards the center of the pot. Place the smoked ciolan in the middle of the first row and start with the second row, also covering the middle ciolan with sarmale from the outside to the inside. After all the stuffing is added, add a layer of chopped cabbage. In a bowl, mix 50 ml of tomato paste with water and a pinch of salt and pour over the sarmale. If necessary, add more water. Boil on very low heat for about 40-50 minutes. Check if they're ready. Serve with bread or polenta.
Ingredient: 700 g minced chicken, 1.8 kg white sauerkraut, an onion, 50 g tomato paste, a teaspoon paprika, 75 g rice, thyme, salt and pepper to taste, 150 g canned tomatoes parsley
Preparation: the onion is cleaned, washed and finely chopped. Remove the cabbage stalks, choose cabbage rolls and cut the rest finely. Tomato paste is diluted in 50 ml of water. The rice is washed, half boiled in salted water. Saute the onion in oil with 50 ml of water, cool, mix with the meat. Then add the rice, salt and pepper. The resulting composition is wrapped in cabbage leaves. The sarmales thus prepared are placed next to each other in a saucepan, over a layer of chopped cabbage, so that the middle remains empty. Then top with finely chopped cabbage so that the sarmales are covered. Sprinkle thyme on top, add tomato paste, paprika and the necessary boiled water. Cover the dish and place in the oven over medium heat. After 20-30 minutes, add the tomatoes and continue cooking. When ready, serve with parsley.
With rice and nuts
Ingredient: a sauerkraut, 200 g rice, 100 g walnuts, an onion, spices and myodenas to taste (pepper, paprika, paprika, oregano, thyme, basil, nutmeg, bay leaves), salt, oil, broth, sugar
Preparation: cabbage leaves are prepared as for ordinary sarmales. The walnuts are cleaned and put in the oven until browned. Then grind, but not very finely. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the finely chopped onion and washed rice. When the onion turns golden, add the spices and salt. Turn off the heat and leave to cool. Then add the walnuts to the composition and mix well. Take the mixture with a spoon and place it on the cabbage leaf, rolling it carefully, because the composition is not as bound as with the usual sarmales. Pour oil on the bottom of the pot in which the sarmales will boil and arrange a layer of chopped sauerkraut, then the sarmales. Place another layer of chopped cabbage on top of the sarmales. Put water until everything is covered and leave the pot on the stove, on the right heat, until the cabbage softens and the rice rises.
Try any of the three sarmale recipes and you will enjoy a tasty and filling dish.
Sarmale in cabbage leaves & # 8211 video recipe
Have you tried this recipe? Follow me on @JamilaCuisine or tag #jamilacuisine!
The sarmale recipe is indispensable for any holiday, but especially for Christmas and Easter. As a child, my grandmother made the best sarmale in the world. Big as a fist, fragrant and extremely tasty. Serve them with hot polenta and pepper and they were wonderful. Because I like it so much, I thought I'd show you my recipe step by step stuffed cabbage inherited from grandma. Of course I modified it to my liking, so I can show you my own version.
I made a version with beef because my husband and I don't eat pork. In addition, I want to show those who think that beef sarmales are dry and tasteless, that they are sorely mistaken. Beef sarmales are extremely tasty, juicy and much lighter for the stomach than pork ones. But the secret is to buy half the fatter meat and half the lean meat.
Usually Romanians have a bad opinion about beef and avoid using it. I always hear that the beef is hard, it's fairy, it's not fat, it's dry. The truth is that we do not know how to choose beef and we avoid it for no reason. For sarmale, choose the neck of the beef, which is fatter and the flesh, which is weaker. Mix them and you will get the perfect meat for this recipe. Grandma always cooked onions and rice with the broth, so my mother and I do the same. I don't fry onions or burn them. I'm just waiting for it to soften and decrease in volume. Pickled cabbage is very important in sarmale.
It can make the difference between a good recipe and a disastrous one. In our family, my father puts the best pickled cabbage. It's perfect every year. Perfectly pickled, neither too sour nor too salty. In any case, taste the sauerkraut. If it is too sour or too salty you can leave it in cold water for a few hours. I like to cook sarmales in the oven, but they can be cooked without problems on the stove. All you have to do is boil them over low heat, watch them and add water if necessary. Serve the sarmales with polenta, sour cream and hot peppers! They will be perfect, I assure you!