Prep 1 hr
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
This is the specialty from here in Cluj. The Romanian name is Varza a la Cluj. It's a heavy dish good for the winter. Truly delicious but somewhat complicated. For the more authentic version use pickled cabbage.
- 3 lbs cabbage, finely shredded (half or all should be pickled cabbage)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 lb ground meat (pork is best)
- 1 onion, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground caraway
- 1⁄2 cup minced fresh dill
- 1 cup rice
- 2 cups sour cream
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- In a large pot melt 1 tbl. of the butter over medium heat. Add the cabbage, some salt and pepper, and 1 tbls. paprika. Saute for about 15 minutes, or until it softens a bit.
- Set aside when finished.
- While the cabbage is cooking,in a saucepan cook the 1 cup of rice in 2 cups of salted water. Set aside when finished.
- Combine the meat with onion, garlic, half the dill, salt and pepper, and 1 tbl. paprika. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- In a large baking dish or casserole, melt the other 1 tbl. of butter. Put down 1 third of the sauteed cabbage.
- Over the cabbage layer half of the rice, then half of the meat, then half of the sour cream. Put down another third of the cabbage then layer the other half of the rice and meat. Over the meat sprinkle the remaining paprika, the caraway, and some salt and pepper. Cover this layer with the remaining cabbage.
- Spread the remaining sour cream over the cabbage and pour 1 cup of water into the casserole. Let this seep to the bottom.
- Combine the tomato paste with 1/2 cup of water, to make a relatively thick sauce. Cover the whole casserole with this.
- Bake the cabbage at 350 for about 90 minutes. The top should be a bit crusty and browned and there should be some bubbling.
- Serve this with bread, pickles, and sour cream on top.
It's my favorite transylvanian dish.