Traditional Romanian Cabbage Rolls (Sarmale)

Today our lovely colleague, Marcela, makes for us a video of cooking her favorite recipe "Sarmale".
She tells us that is not only is her favorite recipe but all the Roma love this dish.

"Try it and it will be also your favorite meal" said Marcela confidently.

We will let you note the ingredients and see in the video how you can make a nice traditional Romanian dish. 

  • 1 lb. ground pork (beef or even chicken/turkey could also be used, but pork is traditional)
  • 1/2 cup regular white rice (don’t use quick cooking rice, also brown and wild rice will take too long to cook)
  • 1/2 cup diced white or yellow onion (cut into small pieces)
  • 1/4 cup tightly packed, minced fresh dill
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely minced (you can use any garlic that was in the brine with the cabbage heads)
  • 1 15-ounce can chopped tomatoes, pureed and divided into 3/4 cup and 1 cup amounts (pureed fresh tomatoes can also be used)
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the pot
  • salt/pepper to taste (optional)
  • 1-2 heads fermented or fresh green cabbage (the amount needed will depend on their size and the number of usable leaves)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • Up to 2 quarts very hot chicken or pork stock