Cabbage Rolls


Today I’m making cabbage rolls. There are many countries where these are made and there are a lot of different recipes. I’ll be doing my Romanian grandmother’s recipe.

Watch How To Make It:

You can serve your cabbage rolls as they are, or you can add some polenta, sour cream and chilli pepper. We usually cook these together with family and friends, meaning everybody takes part in rolling them. That’s why you’ll see different shapes.

Here is the written recipe, with the ingredients and step by step instructions:

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Cabbage Rolls My Grandmother’s Secret Recipe

Servings 6 people


Cutting board
Rubber spatula
Boiling Pot


  • 2 pounds ground pork (1kg)
  • ½ pound smoked pork belly (200g)
  • ½ pound smoked short ribs (200g)
  • 3 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp peppercorns
  • 5 bay leaf's
  • 14 oz canned tomato puree (400g)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 pickled whole cabbage head
  • 1 short grain rice (200g)
  • 1 bottle dry Sauvignon Blanc


  • Start by putting the rice in a bowl with warm water.
  • Then, in a preheated pan add olive oil, then the chopped onion. Cook at low heat for 8 minutes or until it becomes translucent
  • Next, pour half of the tomato puree and cook for 2 more minutes
  • In a large bowl put the ground pork, then pour over the cooked onions and tomato. Then add these spices: 2 teaspoons of thyme, the smoked paprika, sweet paprika, salt and the black pepper.
  • Now, drain the rice of water and add it over the pork and spices. Mix everything very well until evenly combined.
  • Get the cabbage and take one leaf at a time. Cut the bottom and the middle hard parts of the leaf. Now you are left with 2 soft areas of the leaf which you will fill with the pork and rice mix. Put about one tablespoon of meat and rice mix near the edge of the leaf, roll it up to the next edge and then press on the sides with our fingers.
  • You want the roll to be nice and firm so it won’t open while cooking. Put all the rolls into a tray or a big plate until you finish preparing them all.
  • Take a big oven proof boiling pot and put in some of the leftover cabbage, which is roughly chopped.
  • Then add the smoked pork belly. This is done to protect the cabbage rolls from burning at the bottom.
  • Next add half of the peppercorn and 2 bay leaves.
  • Now we add one row of cabbage rolls, then, on top, the smoked short ribs, then another row of cabbage rolls.
  • Cover the top with some more chopped cabbage, one more smoked short rib, the rest of the bay leaves, 1 teaspoon of thyme, the rest of the peppercorn, the rest of the tomato puree and the cinnamon. Last, pour over all the white wine and a cup of water. This is my grandmother's secret cinnamon and white wine!
  • Place the pot on the stove and boil at medium heat for 20 minutes, while you preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or 180 degrees Celsius)
  • Last, move the pot into the oven and cook for 1h and 20 minutes.
Cuisine: Romanian

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @notacheftv on Instagram and hashtag it #notacheftv.

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