Since winter is nearly here, I had the make the first Sarma. This is a MUST when it comes to a typical Macedonian meal on the Christmas table. There is something so comforting and enjoyable about eating Sarma. The best thing is, the longer it sits, the better it gets. So this is how the recipe goes:
Makes 28 rolls:
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1cup leeks, chopped
- 700g mince (pork and beef) meat
- 150g uncooked rice
- 130g smoked bacon, finely chopped
- 30 sour cabbage leaves
- 100g shredded sour cabbage
- 2tsp smoked paprika
- 5-6tbs vegetable oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a skillet, add the oil, onion and leeks, turn the heat to medium and let them go until soft.
- Add the mince meat and fry until it's is cooked all the way.
- When the meat is done, take the skillet off the heat, add the uncooked rice, a little bit of salt, pepper and 1tsp paprika. Give it a good stir.
- In a big casserole dish, add a little bit of oil and place the shredded cabbage on the bottom of the pot and sprinkle a little bit of black pepper and paprika.
- Place a cabbage leaf (if the leaf is is too big, cut it into two pieces, so the roll isn't too thick) on a cutting board, spoon 1tbs of the meat mixture, place a little bit of chopped bacon on top and roll. Squeeze gently so the excess water comes out and place on top of the shredded cabbage. Keep going until all rolls are in the dish. (The following photos help with the rolling process.)
- When you are done rolling the 28 rolls, sprinkle with the leftover bacon.
- Place the last two cabbage leaves on top to cover everything.- In the same skillet you used for the meat, add about 4 cups of water, 1tsp smoked paprika and bring it to a boil.
- When boiling, put a clean plate on top of the rolls and while holding it with one hand add the water with the other one to cover them. The plate helps for the rolls not to swim to the surface.
- Preheat your oven to 200 C degrees. Cover the casserole dish with a lid or aluminium foil and put it in the oven. After about 40min, lower it to 150 C degrees and let it slow cook for 5-6 hours or overnight.
- When done, the water will be gone and the Sarma will be delicious. Enjoy!