A delicious recipe that is bursting with flavour. It is best served in the traditional Croatian way with lashings of creamy mashed potato. You can prepare the meat stock in advance (dried pork ribs are available from European delis). Note that whole pickled cabbage leaves come in jars from European delis and some butchers. You can also pre-prepare the stock for this recipe. 






Skill level

Average: 3.6 (184 votes)



  • 500 g chicken wings 
  • 250 g beef oxtail 
  • 1 piece dried pork rib 
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped 
  • 2 carrots, chopped 
  • 1 vegetable stock cube 
  • salt and pepper 


  • 125 ml (½ cup) vegetable oil 
  • 8 shallots, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed 
  • 250 g speck, finely chopped 
  • 2 tbsp sweet paprika 
  • 500 g minced beef topside 
  • 500 g minced pork neck 
  • 1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled 
  • 1 tsp mustard powder 
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper 
  • 250 g arborio rice 
  • 2 eggs, beaten 
  • ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley 
  • 20 pickled cabbage leaves (large leaves can be cut in half to make 2 leaves) 

To cook

  • 200 g sauerkraut
  • 500 g speck, cut into 3 x 5 cm pieces
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1–2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Place the stock ingredients in a large pot. Cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour. Strain and cool before using, skimming the fat from the surface if necessary.

To make the rolls, heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the shallots, garlic and speck for a few minutes, then stir in the paprika. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Combine with the minced meat, stock cube, mustard powder and pepper. Stir in the rice, egg and parsley. Mix well with your hands.

Place the cabbage leaves on a board and add 3 tablespoons of the mixture to each one. Shape the stuffing into a sausage and roll up inside the leaves, tucking the ends of the leaves back into the rolls.

To cook the rolls, lay the sauerkraut over the base of a large pot. Add the rolls, tucking the speck pieces in between. There will be 2–3 layers in the pot. Pour over the cooled stock and gently bring to the boil. Simmer for 1½ hours.

Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan and add the garlic, shallots, mustard powder, flour, stock cubes and paprika. Stir to a thick paste then add a small amount of stock from the simmering rolls to make a smooth sauce. Pour over the rolls and stir through. Simmer the rolls for a further 30 minutes.

Serve with mashed potato.