Sarmale – Beef and Pork Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Traditional Romanian Food

  • Yield : 50 - 60 Sarmale
  • Servings : 10
  • Prep Time : 2:0 h
  • Cook Time : 45m
  • Ready In : 15m

I present you my grandmother recipe Sarmale – Beef and Pork Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Traditional Romanian Food that we use in our family on Christmas , New Years , Birthday and other traditional holidays , this is a traditional Romanian dish we serve it with mamaliga (polenta), sour cream and hot chili peppers.

You can’t find any more traditional Romanian food then this,  if you came here , don’t forget to order , you will love it !



  • 600 gr ground beef
  • 600 gr ground pork
  • 2 spoons tomato paste
  • 3 spoons uncooked rice
  • 1 large sauerkraut cabbage
  • 2 onions
  • 300 smoked bacon cut in small pices
  • 500 gr or 1 can sauerkraut wine
  • 2 laurel leaf
  • water
  • salt and pepper


Step 1

Filling: Mix the ground beef, ground pork, tomato paste, salt and pepper (after taste - if you use the cabbage pickled in bryne, remember that it can be quite salty!) and rice. Set it on the side at room temperature while you prepare the leaves of the cabbage.

Step 2

If you use the pickled cabbage, taste it and if it is too salty wash it gently without breaking the leaves. If you use fresh cabbage, you have to add it whole in salted boilling water for 5 -10 minutes ( depending how thick the leaves are - as a general rule I try to choose the thinest leaves possible). Once boiled take each leaf carefully and wrap about 1 - 2spoons of meat. The size of the rolls are really personal preferrence, in Southern Romania they are usually really small and going North towards Moldavia they get really big in size. I personally prefer it in the middle, so you can have a good bite of cabbage with the meat.

Step 3

Separately, in a pan fry the bacon together with the onion until translucent ( about 2-3min) and add the sauerkraut, salt (again taste the sauerkraut and see how salty it is), pepper, whole pepper and the tomato paste- cook another 3 minutes. Set it aside.

Step 4

In a deep crock/pan spread evenly at the bottom about 1/3 from the sauerkraut mix. On top of it add one layer of rolls. Add another layer of sauerkraut and another layer of rolls. Finish with a layer of sauerkraut. On top add the small pork hock and the laurel and add water in order to barely cover the rolls.

Step 5

Boil on stove top at med- slow heat approx. 2 hours - 2 1/2 hours. We usually take out one roll after 2 hours and try to see if it is cooked thoroughly. Once cooked, take out the laurel and the pork hock and discard.

Step 6

Bake at 375F for another 30 minutes untill you see a nice crust formed on top of it.

Step 7

Dont forget to make the side dish mamaliga (polenta)

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