Moldovan Cabbage Rolls (Sarmale) that can convert you from any cabbage roll recipe! These are Traditional meat and rice stuffed cabbage rolls from the Muyarov-Moldovan family! This Moldavian dish is made with cabbage leaves, rice, diced meat, carrots and onion! Once filled these delicious cabbage rolls are then topped with an easy sauce and baked to doneness.
2medium cabbage heads(cores removed)
1quart(heaping) Jasmine rice
1Tbspsalt (for wilting cabbage)
1Tbsp(heaping) Montreal Steak Seasoning
1Tbsp(heaping) salt(for rice mixture)
1 1/4cups diced tomatoes (or spaghetti sauce)
Fry diced meat in oil for 20 minutes over med-low heat.
Add the onions and carrots and continue to cook for 10 more minutes. Stir in the steak seasoning and paprika towards the end and set aside.
Meanwhile, rinse the rice 3X and fill up with hot tap water. Place on a hot stove to sit while you wilt the cabbage (stirring occasionally.)
Bring a pot of water and 1 Tbsp of salt to a boil. Add the cabbage (make sure water gets inside the hollowed core.) Wilt each head for a total of 10 minutes removing the leaves gradually.
Drain the rice reserving 1 cup of the soaking water.
Combine the meat mixture with the rice, reserved water, and 1 heaping Tbsp of salt.
Cut and trim the leaves. Fill and stack rolls into a pot. Use the trimmings for bottom of the pot. Add Bayleaves half way and top with any leftover cabbage leaves. Pour sauce mixture over the top.
Bake at 350°F for 2 hours. Transfer to a baking dish and pour onion sauce** over the top (optional.)
Onion Sauce: is optional. Make it before serving by sautéing 2 medium onions in 2/3 cup of oil. Pour over hot cabbage rolls right before serving.
Servings: this recipe makes a hefty batch of rolls. It is enough for 4 meals for our family of 7 hence, the 32 servings. Makes 1 (6-quart pot) plus half of a 3-quart pot. Can also fit one large disposable pan.
Meat: Can use chicken or pork. (Nadia and I used minced pork.)