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Traditional Sarma Recipe


2 heads pickled cabbage
1 lb minced beef
1 lb smoked ham, chopped
¼ cup smoked bacon, chopped
2 tbsp flour
1 cup uncooked rice
2 tsp paprika
1 onion, chopped
1 egg
2 tbsp oil
1 lb smoked ham hocks or pork ribs
salt and pepper to taste


Fry bacon in its own fat. Add onion and sauté for five minutes. Remove from heat and drain off excess fat. Allow to cool slightly, combine with minced beef , chopped ham, rice, egg, 1 teaspoon paprika, salt and pepper, remove large outer leaves of the cabbage, place filling in each leaf and roll up from centre to outer edge. Tuck sides into centre to hold roll together. Cut remaining cabbage into strips. Add another half pound of sauerkraut, if desired. Place half the sauerkraut in the bottom of a large pot. Arrange cabbage rolls over sauerkraut. Add smoked ribs or ham hocks. Cover with remaining sauerkraut. Heat oil and brown flour, add a teaspoon of paprika and water to make a thick roux. Cook for 5 minutes. Pour roux over cabbage rolls. Add water to cover cabbage and simmer over low heat for 1 ½ to 2 hours until rice is fully cooked. Do not stir cabbage rolls while cooking.Instead, shake pot occasionally to prevent sticking. Transfer to warm serving dish.

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