How To Make Sarmale | 225 Minutes

How To Make Sarmale Sarmale comes from the Turkish word for ‘wrapped’ and it is essentially some form of protein, (generally mincemeat), mixed with rice, herbs and vegetables that is wrapped in a cabbage leaf. They’re juicy, tangy little mouthfuls that make a great snack, or centrepiece for dinner. Red Wine Pairing: For a red wine, we are looking to Austria. A wonderfully sharp and vibrant Zweigelt will do the trick. It has enough acidity to stand up to the acidic tomato rich dish, but it also has enough flavour intensity and tannin to stand up to the rich flavours of this wonderful dish. White Wine Pairing: For a white wine, we are opting for Calmel & Joseph Le Saint Festin Blend. It has a good amount of body to it and still maintains a notable acidity. However, what works particularly well in its favour is the medley of herbaceous and spicy notes which really meld into the flavours of this dish perfectly.
  • Prep & Cooking Time – 3hrs 45mins
  • Serves – 2 People
  • Level – Medium
  • 250g Pork Mince
  • 30g Arborio Rice
  • 1 Medium Brown Onion
  • 3/4 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 3/4 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 3/4 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Large Green Cabbage
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 400g Chopped Tomatoes
  • 6 Slices of Streaky Bacon
  • Sour Cream (For Garnish)
  • Step 1

    It’s time to learn how to make Sarmale. Begin by preparing your rice. You will want to boil it until it is just a minute or two undercooked. It will finish cooking in the wraps. Drain the rice and set it aside to cool.

  • Step 2

    Finely dice the onion and sauté half of it in vegetable oil until it begins to turn clear. Then, add your herbs and season with salt and pepper.

  • Step 3

    Combine the mince, sautéd onions and rice with a teaspoon of water.

  • Step 4

    Now, you make the rolls. Remove the largest cabbage leaves and cut in half to remove the tough white core. Then, dice the middle portion of the cabbage, where the leaves begin to get too small for wrapping.

  • Step 5

    Get a heaped tablespoon of your stuffing and cover the base of the leaf. Then, wrap it up! This is a key step when learning how to make Sarmale. Don’t be afraid to check out some YouTube videos to hone your technique.

  • Step 6

    Now, you need to get a saucepan and sauté the remaining onion with the chopped cabbage. Once they’ve begun to cook, add the chopped tomato, bay leaves and combine.

  • Step 7

    Layer into the Sarmale, then the slices of bacon and finally more Sarmale. Top up with water to just cover the Sarmale.

  • Step 8

    Now, pop the lid on the sauce pan and allow it to simmer on a low heat for at least three hours. Patience is key if you’re going to learn how to make Sarmale.

  • Step 9

    Serve with sour cream. Now you know how to make Sarmale!

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