Sarma: A cabbage roll that is tasty and delicious |

Sarma: A cabbage roll that is tasty and delicious

Kate Johnson
Cabbage rolls with meat, rice and vegetables.
Getty Images/iStockphoto | iStockphoto

I have a deep love of the winter due to the fact that I was born and raised in Montana. One of the draws to relocating to the Carson City area almost 26 years ago was the fact that I was still able to relish all of the seasons. In my opinion, we get to enjoy the perfect balance of winter here in Carson, with skiing a mere 20 minutes away and shoveling kept to a relative minimum (I know it doesn’t always feel that way but, trust me, compared to the shoveling one endures in the great state of Montana, it is minimal).

Upon winter’s arrival I am always drawn to the comfort foods of my youth. Meatloaf, homemade mac and cheese, chili, pasties… to name a few. Most of these can be made in bulk and frozen for future meals.

Today I would like to share a recipe that my mother’s best friend, Cass, would make each year when the snow would fly. It is called Sarma and it is her version of the cabbage roll. You should note the addition of sauerkraut to this recipe. If you are not a fan, I encourage you to try it anyway. I believe it is the key to what makes this particular cabbage roll so tasty and delicious!

I find sauerkraut to be a great addition to steaming short ribs as well. It imparts a ton of flavor without you even knowing it has been added. Sarma is best served with some good quality bread to soak up all the delicious juice. It can be frozen for future meals so make a BIG pot!


Serving: 8


2 heads cabbage

Water to cover

1 cup vinegar

3 pounds ground beef

1 lb. sausage

3⁄4 cups raw rice

1 onion, chopped

1 egg

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 cloves of garlic, minced


1 pound sauerkraut

1 pound can tomato sauce


Place cabbage in large pot and cover with water and vinegar. Boil for about 15 minutes then let cool. Mix the hamburger, sausage, rice, onion, egg, Worcestershire and garlic.

Place a chunk of the mixture in the middle of a piece of cabbage and roll up and close with a toothpick. Layer the rolls with the sauerkraut in a deep pan and cover with water.

Add the can of tomato sauce and simmer all afternoon.

Kate Johnson is a longtime resident of Carson City. She practices pharmacy locally at Costco Pharmacy and is an avid gardener, cook and lover of dogs.