I know it seems funny but at our last “grilling” class one of our main menu items was stuffed grape leaves . . . NON-Grilled! Several years ago, my cousin married a man whose family tradition it is to make stuffed grape leaves. Just a bit of education here; though there are little differences, Stuffed Grape Leaves is how the Persian culture refers to these and Dolmas is what the Greek culture calls them. Anyway, through the years I have spent many an hour with family members gathered around a kitchen table rolling grape leaves and just catching up. It is really a a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Then . . . you get to enjoy eating them!!
In our class we made our stuffed grape leaves with ground beef. Depending where you live and your availability to ground lamb I would suggest that you try that also. My favorite is a 50/50 mixture of ground beef and ground lamb.
Let’s get rolling!
STUFFED GRAPE LEAVES (DOLMAS)
PREP: 45 Minutes
COOK TIME: 2 Hours
SERVES – 6 to 8
- 1 pound ground beef or ground lamb
- 3/4 cup uncooked white rice
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 jar grape leaves, or about 50 fresh grape leaves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 pound pork or lamb chops
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 40 garlic cloves
- Greek Yogurt
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the ground beef, rice, garlic powder, allspice, salt, pepper, and cinnamon, and set aside.
Rinse grape leaves several times. If the leaves are small, leave them intact, but cut out the large center vein. If the leaves are large, cut them in half vertically, cutting out the large vein in the process. Place a small amount of the ground meat mixture at the end of each leaf. Roll up egg-roll style.
Pour the oil into the bottom of a large Dutch oven. Lay the chops over the oil. Lay the tomato slices over the chops.
Place the stuffed grape leaves seam-side down on top of the chops. Pack the leaves tightly and begin a second layer when necessary. Place whole garlic cloves randomly between the rolled leaves; plenty of garlic on each layer.
When you are done stacking, pour the lemon juice over the leaves, and add water to the pot to about 2-inches above the rolled leaves. To prevent the leaves from unrolling during cooking, place a plate on top of the stack of leaves and place a heavy object on top of the plate.
Simmer the leaves over low heat for about 2 hours.
Alternate Cooking Method:
Follow the directions above but in a pressure cooker. After all of the rolled grape leaves are placed into the pressure cooker with all the other ingredients, fit the lid into place tightly and place over high heat. Heat until steam begins to escape from the steam vent and lower heat to simmer. Simmer for 20 – 25 minutes making sure that steam continues to escape from the vent during the simmer time.
Grapes leaves are wonderful to eat just by themselves. But if you want to add some variety, serve your grape leaves with Greek yogurt.
Now for the best part; Serve and Enjoy!
As always, thank you for following and reading!
For more information about upcoming cooking classes at The Lark Inn or for a great place to escape the rigors of the city and just chill out Visit our Website.