Recipe from Romania: Cabbage a la Cluj (Varza a la Cluj)

Cabbage a la Cluj is an original way to prepare the cabbage: spicier, making it more consistent. You can prepare this anytime because it’s an excellent food, easy to prepare.

You will need the following ingredients:

2 medium cabbages (pickled cabbage is recommended)

1 to 1.2 kg minced pork and beef meat

150g of rice

2 big onions

6-8 spoons of tomato paste


a cup of sour soup (if you do not use pickled cabbage)


pepper, salt, thyme

Cut the cabbage, rub it with salt and then fry it in three spoons of oil. When the cabbage becomes soft, put half of cup of water and keep mixing constantly. Add a sprig of thyme, and mix in the pot until the water evaporates.

After the cabbage is done, you have to boil the rice. Clean and cut the onions, then cook them in two spoons of oil. Add the meat over the onion and season it with salt and pepper. Mix the meat with the onion and let it cook, until the juice from the meat is reduced. Then, add the rice and leave it for five minutes on the stove, mixing constantly.

Now that we have both the cabbage and the meat prepared, we can proceed to putting the final preparation on the tray.

Take a large enough tray, with thicker walls (preferably a clay one) and spread some oil on it. Add a layer of cabbage, one of meat with onion and rice, 3-4 spoons of oil and tomato paste and 2-3 slices of pork or Kaiser, depending on what you’ve chosen to use. Over the Kaiser, add again a layer of cabbage, one of meat, and continue like that until the composition comes to an end. The important thing is to finish the food with a layer of cabbage and few slices of Kaiser.

If you used fresh white cabbage, and not pickled one, besides a cup of water, also put a cup of sour soup. Put the tray in the oven at 150 degrees for 2 hours. Cabbage a la Cluj is ready to be served with sour cream, hot peppers and polenta.


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