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Serbian Stuffed Cabbage

This recipe was given to me by a farmer neighbor. She grew up in a Serbian neighborhood, and said the Serbian name for this dish is Sarma. I always think of this kind lady whenever I make this dish...she and her husband always had a huge garden (one year they grew five different types of leaf lettuce!), and they were always very generous with their harvests.—Mrs. Arthur Goldberg, Goetzville, Michigan
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Cook: 1-1/2 hours
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 medium head cabbage (about 3 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can (8 ounces) sauerkraut, undrained
  • GRAVY:
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  • In a skillet, brown beef and onion; drain and set aside. In a Dutch oven or large kettle, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add cabbage; simmer 6-8 minutes. Remove wilted cabbage leaves with a fork; drain and cool.
  • Meanwhile, in a saucepan, add rice to 2 cups boiling water; when water comes to a boil again, remove from the heat. Drain and rinse. Add rice to beef; season with salt and pepper. Remove the large vein from 12 large cabbage leaves.
  • Line bottom of another large kettle with half of the remaining small cabbage leaves; cover with half of the sauerkraut. Place 1 tablespoon of meat mixture on each large cabbage leaf. Fold sides over and roll leaf up tightly lengthwise; tuck loose ends under and place seam side down on top of sauerkraut. Repeat with remaining large leaves and meat mixture. Cover with remaining sauerkraut and small cabbage leaves.
  • For gravy, combine the oil and flour in a small saucepan. Add remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat until slightly thickened; pour over cabbage leaves. Simmer gently over low heat for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, shaking kettle occasionally to prevent sticking.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 249 calories, 12g fat (4g saturated fat), 37mg cholesterol, 1039mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 4g fiber), 17g protein.

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