Even though this meal originated under the historic influence of the Turks, it is being prepared in the area of Cetinska krajina for a number of years. They are an obligatory part of all festivities, and they are specific for the chopped meat, instead of the minced as it is used in traditional cabbage rolls, no rice is used, and also various kinds of dried meat is added. Seasonings such as nutmeg, cinnamon and clove provide arambašići with a special aroma.
1 kg coarsely chopped beef neck
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
300 g (10.6 oz) prosciutto bones
100 g (3.5 oz) sudžuk dried sausage
100 g (3.5 oz) pancetta
1.20 kg (42 oz) sauerkraut whole leaves
1 kg (35 oz) sauerkraut cut in stripes
1 spoon tomato concentrate
200 g (7 oz) onion
4 cloves garlic
150 g (5.3 oz) smoked bacon
½ sprig parsley
Finely chop onion and parsley to prepare “pešt”. Nicely cube the smoked bacon and press the garlic. Mix it all together well and additionally chop up with a knife. Add seasonings and ground lemon rind. Add pešt to the beef and mix it all together well. Let stand in the refrigerator for an hour.
Remove cabbage leaves and thin their thick edges so the leaves would fold more easily. Place a spoon of meat stuffing on each leaf and roll “arambašići” from its thick end towards the thin one. Then use your finger to tuck the edges into arambašići rolls so that during cooking they would not open.
Place the bone on the bottom of a pan and cover with a part of the chopped sauerkraut. Add some diluted tomato concentrate and then distribute arambašići. Distribute also some sudžuk sausage and pancetta. Then repeat the procedure until you have used up all the ingredients. Finish with chopped cabbage and cover with water to the level of the sauerkraut. Cover the pan and cook on slow fire for about 2 hours in an oven at 150˚C (302˚F).
Serve arambašići with cooked or mashed potatoes.
This amount of ingredients will give you about 40 arambašići.