Sarma, Stuffed Cabbage Leaves from Dalmatia

Recipe by Annacia
READY IN: 2hrs 30mins


  • 2
    pickled cabbage (you may also use kale for wraping)
  • 2
    tablespoons oil
  • 60
    ml smoked bacon, in small pieces (1/4 cup)
  • 1
    onion, minced
  • 1
    head garlic, mince the cloves
  • 450
    g ground beef (1 lb)
  • 450
    g ground pork (or ham,1 lb)
  • 450
    g diced tomatoes (1 lb, not drained)
  • 250
    ml uncooked rice (1 cup)
  • 2
    teaspoons paprika
  • 1
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Remove any wilted or bruised leaves from the cabbage and cut out the center core.
  • Pour boiling water over the cabbages to soften.
  • Meanwhile, in the oil, sauté the bacon and onion until the bacon is cooked.
  • Add minced garlic.
  • Beat the egg and add the salt, pepper, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, ground beef, pork or ham and half the tomatoes.
  • Add the bacon mixture and rice and combine thoroughly.
  • Separate the cabbage leaves and drain.
  • Place a heaping tablespoon of stuffing at the core end of each cabbage leaf and roll up carefully, tucking in the ends.
  • Layer the rolls in a Dutch oven or heavy kettle.
  • Chop up the small unused leaves and place on top.
  • Pour the remaining tomatoes and juice over top and add enough water to cover the rolls.
  • Cover and simmer for 2 to 2-1/2 hours.