May 29, 2015

A Serbian version of the traditional, Eastern European recipe for Sarma.

  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins


1Separate the cabbage leaves, and if too sour, pour water over the leaves to reduce the acidity and saltiness.

2Meanwhile, finely chop the onions and in a medium skillet, fry over medium heat with a 1/2 cup of the oil.

3Add the minced meat, salt, pepper, red pepper, dried vegetable seasoning, and fry.

4Add the rice and mix well. Remove from the heat.

5Carefully clean the cabbage leaves, removing the spice mixture. Be sure not to tear any of the leaves.

6On each leaf, fill with the fried meat and onions mixture.

7Roll the cabbage leaves away from you, then from the sides, and once more away from you. Place them in a pot.

8Fill them layer at a time, not too tightly. Between the rolls, place smoked bacon pieces and smoked pork ribs. Crumble the laurel leaf and dried red peppers over the cabbage rolls.

9Pour water over the cabbage rolls, and allow to boil. Reduce the heat to medium and allow to cook for 20 minutes.

10Preheat the oven to 350°F.

11Meanwhile, use the remaining 1/2 cup of oil to fry the flour with a little pepper, and whisk. Once done, pour over the cooking cabbage rolls. Shake the pan to cover all the cabbage rolls. Use a spoon to separate the rolls a little, so the water and browned flour can coalesce and complete the sauce.

12Place the cabbage rolls in an oven-safe dish and bake for about 2 hours. If the cabbage rolls begin to brown, cover with foil (but do not seal). Add more water if necessary.

13Remove from the oven, and serve with pieces of smoked bacon and pork ribs.


2 medium sized heads of sour cabbage

6 onions, finely chopped

1 cup oil, divided

750 g of mixed minced meat (more beef, less pork)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Ground red pepper, to taste

Dried vegetable seasoning, to taste

1 cup rice

1 small piece smoked bacon

4 smoked pork ribs

Laurel leaf

3 dried red peppers

1 tbsp flour