So, there are some really AWESOME, mouth-watering traditional dishes here in Romania, all of which, I have mastered. So today I made Sarmale, pronounced: Saar-mall-ay. Had a little meat left over, so I stuffed some bell peppers. Here’s the 411 on how to make both!
- 1 KG. Ground Beef
- 1 KG Ground Pok
- 1 Large Onion, chopped
- Salt – to taste
- Pepper (I prefer White) – to taste
- 2 bunches fresh Dill - chopped
- 1/2 Kilo uncooked white rice
- Grape Leaves*
- Steamed Cabbage leaves*
- Tony’s (if you like)
- Sausage, or some sort of meat on the bone – you’re choice
- Large Pot
- Bell Peppers
- 3-4 Tomatoes
- Tomato Sauce
- Sour Cream – for when you eat
- French Bread - for when you eat
*Okay, the Grape Leaves can usually be purchased from a store that deals specifically in items from the other side of the world. In Baton Rouge, there is a little Arabic store off of Sherwood Forest, near the Harrell’s Ferry intersection, that sells the grape leaves. They are in a jar. Basically they’re soaking in some sort of salt-water solution. They might carry the cabbage leaves like this as well, you’ll have to check. If not, the buy fresh cabbage, and steam or boil until the leaves are tender.
Okay, get your pot, ad place the sausage in the bottom:
Note – use your hands to mix
- Mix meats together thoroughly
- Add onions, rice, dill to meat and mix well
- Add salt, & pepper to taste, for a little extra something, I add a little Tony’s.
- Add about 2 Spoonfuls of Tomato Sauce
- Mix well.
Now your meat is ready to be rolled up. What you want to do is place the cabbage or grape leaf in your hand like so:
Now pinch off some meat with the other hand, and make it into a small roll:
Now, start rolling it up, then tuck the ends into the roll:
Place in the pot, keep rolling and placing in the pot:
I used some cabbage as well as grape leaves. I used the cabbage first, so they are in the bottom of the pot, pictured above.
Once you have exhausted either all the meat or all the leaves, chop 2 tomatoes and place on top of the rolls, spoon some more tomato sauce on top. I sprinkle a little more Tony’s as well. Cover with water, and place over medium low heat, and allow to boil for approx. 30 min. to 1 hour, or until the meat and rice are thoroughly cooked.
NOW, I had a bit of meat left, and lots of bell peppers, so I stuffed a few.
Wash the peppers thoroughly, and cut the tops off. To do this, insert the point of the knife in the pepper around the edge of the stem, and cut around the stem, once all the way around, pull the stem up and out:
Turn the pepper upside down and knock out as much of the seeds as you can. Then start stuffing:
Once you’ve stuffed all your peppers, slice a tomato, and place over the opening Then add some water and a spoon of tomato sauce, cover and let boil till meat and rice are cooked. Approx. 30 min.-1hour:
Now fix your plate, spoon some sour cream over your sarmale (or pepper), grab some french bread, spoon a little of the water the sarmale cooked in over your sarmale, and Bon Apetit, or as they say in Romania, Pofta Buna!