Sarmas (Stuffed Sour Cabbage Rolls)

This bioculinary recipe starts with a home-grown cabbage patch. Take your harvested cabbages and remove the leaves one at time. Trim the heavy vein in the leaf. Have a large glass jar cleaned and readied. Place the leaves in the glass jar and pour in home-made vinegar (clear or apple cider) with salt and water. Leave over the winter. Use the preserved cabbage in the following recipe.

3 pounds of ground lamb (organic, from within 50 miles of where you live)
or wild rice, soaked in water a day ahead of time
1 pound ground meat (organic, from within 50 miles of where you live)
2 onions (organic)
1/2 cup of rice if also using meat (without meat, use 2 cups)
6 cloves garlic chopped (organic, home-grown preferred)
2 large sour cabbage heads
6 tablespoons of vegetable oil
4 tablespoons flour
10 ounces of homemade tomato soup

Have the large sour cabbage leaves out on the table. Mix the meat (or rice if not using meat), chopped onion, garlic, rice, salt, and pepper together. Add a little bit of cold water. Fill cabbage leaves with mixture and roll up. Seal both ends by tucking inward. Chop up remaining head of cabbage and place in the bottom of the cauldron or kettle. Use a twelve-quart kettle. Place sarma rolls in kettle and add smoked ribs if desired. Place some chopped cabbage on top. In a sauce pan, brown the oil and add flour. Add salt and the homemade tomato soup (2 cups or 10 ounces). Bring to a boil and add to kettle of sarmas. Add more water to cover and let simmer 3 hours. Makes about 35-40 sarmas.