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Pork Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Prep Time:

25 Minutes

Cook Time:

1.5 Hour


6 Servings



About the Recipe

This recipe has been passed down through generations in the Szakacs family, inspired by Transylvanian cousine and communal meals.

The dish is best served with a family or group of friends and good company.

Pro tip - the dish taste the best the next day after the flavours really came together.


  • 0.8 kg of Mangalitsa pork belly, minced (Can't find Mangalitsa? No problem! Regular pork belly or pork shoulder will do just fine.)

  • 2 heads of big, normal cabbage (Not Savoy or any fancy variety)

  • 200g smoked pork ribs

  • 200g of Hungarian-style smoked bacon (Kolozsvari szalonna)

  • 500g of sour kraut (or any similar soured cabbage)

  • Bay leaves

  • Ground Cumin

  • Sweet and hot paprika

  • 2 red onions, diced

  • 100g of rice

  • Lard (for that authentic touch!)

  • Fresh Dill - a generous amount

  • Sour Cream (Hungarian or Romanian origin, preferably with at least 12% fat content)

  • 300g/500g of Polenta (Cornmeal Flour) (Alternatively, you can use 3-4 potatoes for mashed potatoes or just eat the dish with bread)


Step 1

Let's start by browning the diced onions in some lard in a frying pan. Add the rice and cook until they become golden and aromatic. Set them aside to cool.

Step 2

Use whole sour cabbage (saurkraut) heads or if not available you can boil some water and carefully steam fresh cabbage heads. Once they're tender, peel back the softened leaves and keep them aside.

Step 3

Mix the minced pork with the paprika, pepper, salt, garlic, and the cooled onions.

Step 4

Now, let's assemble the star of the show—take each cabbage leaf and wrap the minced pork belly mixture in them to create around 12 delicious cabbage rolls.

Step 5

Nestle the stuffed cabbage rolls in the pressure cooker and add water until they are almost covered. If you don't have a pressure cooker you can use a regular pot, but keep in mind for the best results you have to slow cook the rolls for 3-4 hours.

Step 6

Close the pressure cooker and cook for 30-40 minutes until everything gets beautifully tender and aromatic.

Step 7

Time for the dill sour cream magic! Finely chop the remaining fresh dill and mix it with the sour cream for that tangy, herby goodness. Step 8 To serve, plate up the tantalizing cabbage rolls with a generous side of polenta or mashed potatoes, drizzle the dill sour cream, and garnish with freshly cut parsley.

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