Collard Beef Sarma Recipe
I shared a collard sarma recipe last year. More precisely, I shared a collard sarma recipe which is made the way I like. I don't like sarma and dolma with beef. I eat them, but not with pleasure. I love the olive oil sarma and dolma (without tomato paste, with currants and pine nuts) but they are not my first choice. You can ask "Well, you don't like this, you don't like that, are you sure you like sarma and dolma?".
But believe me, I love sarma and dolma. I like them just like in the recipes of collard sarma and pepper dolma;without beef, without currants, without pine nuts, but with tomato paste. This is the version which goes the best with yogurt in my opinion. Let me underline, so that the effect of the word does not diminish because I used it at the end of the sentence; IN MY OPINION. There are also many people whose favorite version of sarma is beef sarma. For example, all black sea region people. When collard is mentioned, the one that comes to their mind is beef sarma. When we eat local foods since childhood, we get used to it that way and do not even think about alternatives. This is why all black sea region like collard sarma with beef. So this is quite natural.
Even if it is not local, we may fall into the misconception that some dishes are only prepared as in our own home. For example, the dried bean stew recipe is prepared by frying the onion and tomato paste in advance, as I do in some houses, and by boiling the onion with beans, then frying and adding the tomato paste in others. One is not more accurate than the other. Could blue be a more accurate color than yellow? Just as colors are only different from each other, these two methods are only two different methods from each other. Although we are surprised when we hear it at first, the only thing we can do is to accept it.
To give an example from our recipe collard beef sarma... Sometimes or in some houses, boned or chopped beef is placed at the bottom of the pot. Sometimes and in some homes, it is prepared without it. When I already used ground beef, I also added boned beef in the bottom. Bull's tail (robo de torro) is a type of boned beef that can be easily found in Spain because it is used in the preparation of the famous Spanish dish rabo de toro. I couldn't resist when I saw the pieces of bull's tail in the butcher's window while I was buying the ground beef. I have to admit, it gave me more pleasure than the sarma itself. Glad I added it.
But as I said, you don't have to use beef. You can also cook it without it. Since I use beef, the only change I made was not to add any extra oil to the sauce. If you don't use beef, you can add a few tablespoons of olive oil or a tablespoon of butter cut into pieces to the tomato paste sauce.
Enjoy the recipe...
Collard Beef Sarma Recipe with Video
- 1 large bunch (about 500 g) of collard,
- 250 g ground beef,
- 1 cup of rice,
- 1 onion,
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste,
- 5-6 tablespoons of olive oil,
- 1 handful of chopped parsley,
- 1/4 tsp of pepper,
- 1/2 tsp of cumin,
- 1 tsp of dried mint,
- 1/2 tsp of paprika,
- 400 g boned beef (optional).
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste,
- 2 cups of water at room temperature,
- Salt to taste.
- Wash the collard leaves
- Boil plenty of water in a deep pot,
- Soak the leaves in water and boil them until they become soft and can take shape, and remove them from the water,
- For the stuffing, heat the oil and stir fry the very finely chopped onion,
- Add the ground beef and stir fry until it releases its juice and than it evaporates,
- Add salt, pepper and cumin and mix,
- Add the tomato paste and stir fry until the smell comes out,
- Add the rice and stir fry for a few minutes,
- Add dried mint, paprika and parsley and mix,
- Add the water, mix and cook until the water is absorbed and remove from the fire,
- Cut the stems and thick veins in the middle of the leaves and arrange them under a medium-sized pot,
- Place the beef pieces on top,
- Cut the leaves into pieces that can be wrapped,
- Put the rice mixture on the leaf according to its size, fold it from the edges to the middle first, then roll them forward,
- Place the sarmas on top of the beef pieces,
- For the sauce, whisk the tomato paste, water and salt in a bowl (if you are not going to use meat, add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil),
- Pour the sauce over the sarmas,
- Place a row of leaves on it and place a plate,
- Close the lid and cook on low-medium heat until the rice is very soft,
- Turn off the heat and wait at least 15 minutes before serving.
Enjoy your meal…