Stuffed cabbage rolls with minced meat

April 11, 2013

Stuffed cabbage rolls with minced meat

By April 11, 2013

This dish is traditional in Romania, mainly served during holidays such as Christmas, Easter and family events. It is common to the ethnic cuisines of the Balkans, Finland, Sweden and Middle East. This is the first time I am making this dish because I've been always afraid of cabbage rolls, crepes, boeuf salad and soups. Maybe because my mom is the Master Chef at making them and I could never compare with her. 

But today, I rolled my sleeves and got back to work. It takes time. Make sure you get your hands on the best meat possibly. I have this recipe from one of the cooks I admire the most, Mihaela Pavel which I am grateful for teaching me so many secrets. They say the best stuffed cabbage rolls are the ones eaten next day and it's true. 

  • Prep Time : 60 minutes
  • Cook Time : 3h 00 min
  • Yield : 50-60
Nutrition facts (per portion) : 0: 223; 1: 13;



1. Saute the chopped onion on low heat until it gets soft and gold. When it's almost done, add well washed rice and drained, dried thyme and 2 tbsp of tomato paste. Mix well, leave for a few minutes, then cool.

2. Cut the meat and mince it into a special processor with the kaiser also. Mix with the rice and add special condiments for stuffed cabbage or use thyme, paprika, pepper. Don't use salt if the cabbage is already salted.

3. Cut the cabbage in medium pieces. You will make around 50 rolls so make sure you have beautiful leafs with no holes. If it is too salty, wash it and drain well. You can watch a tutorial here on how to fold the rolls. Chop the remaining cabbage.

4. In a wide and medium tall pot, place some dill stem at the bottom, a layer of chopped cabbage and make a ray  on the sides with rolls all the way up. The middle should be empty. At the end you will fill that with chopped cabbage and some kaiser slices. On top place chopped cabbage.

5. Mix some water with tomato paste to cover the layer before the last. Boil on high heat for 45 minutes then on low heat for an hour, this time with the lid on. Add chopped tomato and wine, leave until the meat is done and the cabbage soft.

6. Place in the oven at 180 degrees for half an hour uncovered. Sprinkle chopped dill on top and serve with sour cream and chilli.


Romanian translation