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SARMA - The most beloved dish of the Balkans!!!

Sarma is the most beloved dish of the Balkans. It is so popular that it is served at weddings, family holidays and other special occasions. Although some people make it with boiled cabbage leaves, sarma made with cabbage, that was fermented in a barrel for months, similar to sauerkraut, is far much better. In the wintertime, sarma is the ultimate comfort food!

You need:

2 heads fermented cabbage 

for filling:

1/2 tablespoon oil or lard
1/2 cup bacon, finely chopped
1 cup onion, finely chopped
2 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1 1/4 lb ground meat (beef and pork)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup rice (soaked in water)

for finishing: 
1 tablespoon oil or lard
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon paprika
1 cup water


- in a pan, heat oil or lard on medium heat 
- add bacon and cook until crispy 
- add onion and cook until translucent
- stir in garlic and paprika
- after 1/2 minute add ground beef and pork
- cook the meat while stirring until it becomes brown
- add salt and black pepper
- at the end stir in rice and remove the pan from the heat

- pick well-formed cabbage leaves and flatten their stems with a knife
- chop the rest of the cabbage 

- place 2 tablespoons of filling on the cabbage leaf's stem, fold side edges, and roll it over. 
- do the same with the rest of the materials
- cover the bottom of a Duch oven with the chopped cabbage and place the cabbage rolls building about 2 layers
- cover everything with the rest of the chopped cabbage
- pour in water to cover everything and cook for two hours, covered with a lid
- 30 minutes before the end add a finishing
- in a small pan, heat oil or lard, add flour, and until 1 minute of cooking while stirring, add paprika 
- after 1/2 minute add hot water, stir it well and spread it over the cabbage rolls
- cook sarma for 30 more minutes, uncovered
- serve sarma while hot, with bread or mashed potato, and red wine
- be aware, by each day passing sarma is tastier 

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