Pork dishes, based on fresh cabbage or sauerkraut, are a constant presence in Romanian cuisine
staple foods, the famous 'sarmale', which is stuffed cabbage rolls, a dish also
claimed by other people in the Balkans and Central Europe, ranks first. Second comes the sauerkraut cooked in the
so-called Cluj style, known across the country as 'cabbage a la Cluj'. Nobody
knows why it is called like that, but it is one of Transylvania's tastiest
used for its stuffing are the same as the ingredients used for the cabbage
rolls with meat-based stuffing. There are several versions of this dish across
Romania, including in the south of the country. Another version of this dish is
the Huedin style cabbage, traditionally cooked not far from the Cluj area,
which is cabbage and smoked bacon. It is quicker to prepare as compared to the
stuffed cabbage rolls, as in the former case you no longer need to swirl the
cabbage leaves around the minced meat bits.
For this recipe,
you need a kilo, or a kilo and a half of cabbage. Remove the outer leaves, then
wash the cabbage. Cut it in six or eight equal pieces. Take a bar of smoked
bacon or ham, not more than half a kilogram of it, cut it into thin slices and
then fry it in a frying pan, together with one or two finely-chopped onions,
until the mix gets nice and brown.
In the same pan,
add two carrots, one parsley and another parsnip root. Make sure all vegetables
are cut in finely-shaped rounds. Add a head of celeriac, cut in small cubes.
Quench the mix with a bit of water, then bring it to a boil several times. Pour
everything over the cabbage you had placed in the pot already. Season it with a
little bit of ground black pepper and one clove. Allow to oven-bake for about
45 minutes, at low-heat. Portion it and then pour a little bit of sour cream on
top of it. Serve it hot, with polenta and hot pepper.