Sarma, Salma’s Tasty Sister

You need:

– Fermented cabbage* (One complete head(?))
– Onion (one big one or two smaller ones)
– Egg (one or two)
– Salt
– Pepper
– Panceta or similar dry meat (a chunk)
– Minced meat (pork and beef mix, about 2 lb)
– Red paprika powder (lots, at best the Hungarian one)
– Rice (about one bowl)
– Parsley (a handfull)

*Check if there are any stores with Balkan specialties around. If not, make your own fermented cabbage – it’s really easy, all you need is cabbage, salt, water, some weights and time.

Chop the onion(s) and a part of pancetta. Chopping dried meat is one of the best ways to keep you fit for free climbing.

Simmer until the onions have turned glassy but not golden. Add pepper and salt, but not too much of the latter because the pancetta is salty as it is.

Add meat and simmer a bit, until it starts getting color. Most of the meat should still look raw, as you don’t want it too dry after cooking.

Let it cool off a bit, and add paprika, parsley and egg(s).

Mix it well with your hands and the stuffing is ready.

Take a big casserole.

Start peeling the leaves of the cabbage. On each cut out the middle part – it is too hard to roll.

Cover the floor of the casserole with a couple of such leaves and place the rest of pancetta (cut into medium-sized pieces) in the middle.

Cut the the leaves in half.

Place a tablespoon or two of the stuffing on one side.

Roll and tuck simultaneously

Until it looks like this.

Place it in the casserole.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

If you have any cabbage left, just slice it and add into the casserole. The same goes for the stuffing.
Add water until all sarmas are covered and cook on light to medium fire for some 2 hours.

Pack it up and go skiing. Eat with fresh white bread and/or mashed potatoes. The more often you reheat it, the better it is.

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