If you’ve ever tried stuffed cabbage and liked it, then you’re going to love this recipe. Pancar Sarasi is Turkish for “stuffed chard.” The big, leafy green chard is blanched and then carefully stuffed with a bulgur and meat mixture, rolled and steamed.
- 1 kilo fresh chard
- 250 g ground beef
- 2 cups of pilav bulgur (a thicker type of bulgur)
- 2 cups of short grain rice (rinsed and drained)
- 2 onions (diced)
- 4 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 2 TBSP tomato paste
- 1 TBSP red pepper paste
- 1 TBSP red pepper flakes (pull biber)
- Salt & Pepper (to taste)
- 2 lemons (juiced)
- 2 TBSP olive oil
Wash the chard leaves carefully. Remove the stems and set aside.
Boil a pot of water and in batches, add the chard in the water. Boil for 1-2 minutes then remove the chard leaves and place them in ice water. Repeat until all of the chard has been blanched.
Peel the stringy pieces off of half of the chard stems and slice thinly on an angle. NOTE: The other half will be used, so set aside for later.
In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, onions, garlic, tomato paste, red pepper paste, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Once it is well mixed, separate it into two bowls.
To one bowl, add the bulgur and mix together.
To the other bowl, add the rice and mix together.
On a large cutting board, lay out the pieces of chard one by one. NOTE: If they are large, then cut in half to be about 3 inches long.
Place about 1TBSP of the filling (rotating between the rice filling and the bulgur filling) and roll up like a burrito. Continue until all of the leaves or filling has been used.
In a large stock pot, arrange the remaining stems to form a nice base layer. Then add the stuffed chard pieces in one by one, arranging them neatly and tightly together. Then add 3 cups of boiling water on top and sprinkle with salt. Arrange a terra cotta weighted plate on top to keep the rolls in place. Drizzle with olive oil and 1 more cup of boiling water and cover with a lid.
Allow the stuffed chard to simmer on low heat for 30 to 35 minutes.
Remove the lid and pour in the lemon juice. Cover and allow to cooking for 10 to 15 minutes longer.
Remove from heat and with a plate, drain the juice from the pot carefully (ensuring that the rolls are not moved.
Then place a platter on top of the pot and carefully flip it over to reveal a beautifully display of the neatly placed stuffed chard rolls.
Remove the stems that are layered on top and then drizzle with olive oil.
Serve and enjoy!