Stuffed cabbage is one of the most exciting and typical dishes of Hungary.
We have already dealt with Hungarian stuffed cabbage, which has been chosen as the best dish in the world. We wrote about its history and brought a recipe as well. However, there are many ways to make stuffed cabbage that vary from person to person, as well as geographically. Hellovidek.hu collected 5 varieties from the latter.
Stuffed cabbage also has another name precisely because of its appearance, namely, covered or stuffed cabbage. Many delicacies are covered with fresh or sauerkraut leaves. The way food is prepared varies from region to region, but because we get married, move, and love to cook and eat, everyone ends up making the type of stuffed cabbage that tastes best to them. Here are the most exciting versions and a recipe:
Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County is characterised by its small filling size. The process is thus even more laborious, but they say it is worth it because it also changes the taste. Tomatoes and peppers are minced into the filling, and sometimes neither the onion nor the garlic is sautéed beforehand – so the taste of the filling is kind of raw.
In the Nyírség, the cabbage is made from sweet cabbage, and tomato juice is poured into the cabbage juice. I have heard from several places that they incorporate barley pearls or cornmeal instead of rice, making it more compact and nourishing, but it also changes the taste of the food.
In Krasná (Romania, Szilágy County), it is often made from sweet cabbage. They boil the water with salt, a little sugar, cook the leaves until ‘flexible’, then pour a little vinegar on it and let the cabbage cool in it, then take it apart for its leaves. The meat is cut by hand and the rice is fried on onions. There are no eggs in the filling, so they need to be rolled up tightly.
In Székelyföld (Erdély-Transylvania), the dumplings are larger, and the smoked meat does not go into the stuffing but around the dumplings. Fresh or previously frozen dill is placed in the filling instead of paprika. Colourless cabbage is common in Transylvania, as is sausage, as less ground red pepper is used than in Hungary. It is consumed with a lot of sour cream.
Ingredients for 10 people:
Fry the onion in oil and cook the rice until half-soft with 1 teaspoon of salt. When cooked, mix in the spices: red pepper, cumin, and pepper while still hot. Dice the bacon and fry it in a cold pan. If you manage to get very small pieces, you do not need to, but if you do not, you can grind the roasted bacon in a mixer. Cool the rice completely.
In another bowl, mix the meat, take the stuffing out of the sausage skin, and add this to the minced meat as well. Add a teaspoon of salt, the bacon, and the egg to the rice. Mix thoroughly and start stuffing. Cut out the thick part of the cabbage leaves with a smaller knife, cut the larger leaf into 4 (or 2). Put a tablespoon of stuffing in a leaf, fold the two shorter ends over it, and then roll it up lengthwise.
Wash half a pound of cut sauerkraut in a filter, leaving the other half sour. Look for pots of at least 5 litres, put a portion of sauerkraut on the bottom of it, then sprinkle it with a little sugar. Layer a serving of dumplings, then the smoked side or nails, then some cabbage, dumplings again, and the cut sauerkraut is on top. Pour enough water to cover the top layer and, if necessary, press it with a small lid while cooking. Cover it with the appropriate lid, then boil it on a higher flame, then pull down the temperature and cook on medium heat for another 2.5 hours.
At the end, make the roux: in a pan, melt the fat, mix in the flour, fry for 1 minute, and add the pepper. Mix and pour in 200 ml of cold water. Stir it and pour it on the sides of the cabbage – making it easier to trickle down to the bottom. Give it a shake and rotate the pots, but do not mix them with a spoon so as not to smash the filling. Boil it again under a lid and serve it. Carefully take out the fillings with a spoon and pour the juice on it.