Baked sauerkraut rolls
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Baked sauerkraut rolls, meat, herbs and passion

Baked sauerkraut rolls are actually a version of baked Sarma. Have you already seen our article about this mythical dish from the Balkan countries? If not, have in mind, this is one of those dishes that makes tourists fall in love with the traditional Easter European cuisine. Naturally, when the winter knocks on the doors of people in this area, every household starts cooking Sarma. However, the baked version is rarely familiar and it draws inspiration from the well-known dish originating town of Sinj in Croatia. It’s called Arambašići and it’s protected as an item on the Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage List!

Turning baked sauerkraut rolls into a Mediterranean dish

Who says sauerkraut is not something typical for Mediterranean cuisine? Take Croatia, for example, a coastal Mediterranean country with so many traditional meals prepared with treasurable fermented food. Sauerkraut is a kind of fermented cabbage with some powerful nutritional advantages. From ancient times, people were struggling to preserve food for the winter months. Pickling and fermenting were some of the safest and best inventions. Sauerkraut withstood the test of centuries and found its version in many different cultures. However, the international name comes from Germany. The reason for this could be the cold climate where people struggled to preserve whatever grew during the summer. 

Powerful mineral and vitamin content

Souerkraut is actually an advanced version of cabbage when we look at its nutritional value. Look at some of the minerals and vitamins that it contains per 150g:

  • Sodium: 41% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin C: 23% DV
  • Vitamin K1: 15% DV
  • Iron: 12% DV
  • Manganese: 9% DV
  • Vitamin B6: 11% DV
  • Folate: 9% DV
  • Copper: 15% DV
  • Potassium: 5% DV

Why is ground lamb your best choice for filling?

If you ask us, the best type of meat to use for baked sauerkraut rolls would be nothing else but lamb. Not only that this meat provides super nutrients, but it’ll also most probably be grass-fed, organic and delicious. The Omega profile will be just perfect!

We, the Mediterranean people, consume lamb more often than people from the north and west of Europe and the USA. But allow us to change your mind by providing you with some interesting facts about lamb and mutton meat:

Grass-fed lamb or mutton are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. As a Ketonian, you might already be familiar with the importance of this. The ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids is particularly good in grass-fed lamb.
Additionally, about 45% of the fat in grass-fed lamb originates from oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that’s highly beneficial to us. Grass-fed lamb is also an excellent source of selenium and zinc! Let’s not forget, regular intake of these minerals through food is crucial for the proper function of our immune system!

The recipe that’ll always be successful

Sauerkraut rolls are always successful if the ingredients are good. However, in this baked version, the baking dish is extremely important! If you can, get a ceramic or clay pot and surprise yourself with the advanced flavour. Another great option is the enamel metallic baking pot that’ll enable equal thermal distribution and interlaced aromas.

Time to reveal the recipe? Of course, it is! But before we proceed, allow us to help you find the authentic ingredients in case you can’t find them in your area!

Baked sauerkraut rolls, meat, herbs and passion

Recipe by Roberta KapsalisCourse: Main courseCuisine: Keto MediterraneanDifficulty: Medium
Servings

30

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

2

hours 

Ingredients

  • 30 leaves of pickled cabbage

  • 1 kg (2 lb) minced lamb or mutton

  • 1 tbsp sea salt

  • 1 large onion

  • 4 branches celery (leaves and stalk)

  • 8 cloves garlic

  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves or cinnamon

  • 6 bay leaves

  • 1 tbsp juniper berries (or red peppercorn)

  • 1 tbsp lamb tallow (alternatively use olive oil)

  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika powder

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1-litre lamb stock (or bone broth)

  • Aroma enhancers
  • smoked mutton, smoked sausage or thick pieces of beef bacon

Directions

  • Place onion, garlic, celery, sea salt, black pepper, ground cloves (or cinnamon), and eggs in a food processor. Process till you get a nice unified mixture. Now add the meat and process a bit longer till everything is unified.
  • Rinse pickled cabbage leaves with a lot of cold water. Cut the main “vein” if it’s not elastic enough to make rolls.
  • Make the rolls, by taking a spoonful of the meat mixture and placing it to the centre of the cabbage leaf. Then roll the leaf and tap in the sides. Continue wrapping up the mixture of meat and spices in sour cabbage leaves until you have rolled them all.
  • Grease the bottom of your baking dish with lamb tallow or olive oil. Place smoked meat on the bottom. If you can’t find this, just use some chopped sauerkraut to cover the bottom. The smoked meat, however, will give an advanced aroma.
  • Now place your sauerkraut rolls in the pot creating 2 layers. Sprinkle with smoked paprika powder. Cover with bone broth or lamb stock. Add bay leaves and juniper berries. The liquid has to cover all the rolls.
  • Cover the baking dish (preferably clay pot or enamel baking dish) with a lid and bake it in the oven for 2 hours at 180ºC (350ºF). If the liquid has evaporated, add some more bone broth or lamb stock and return to the oven for at least 15 more minutes.
  • Serve warm on a deep plate or in a soup bowl. Sprinkle your favourite dried herbs before serving (rosemary, oregano, dill etc…)

Notes

  • Check our recommendation for online purchases if you cannot get the ingredients in your area.
  • You can use fresh parsley instead of celery.

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