Posts Tagged Ground Beef


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!



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.


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment


These miniature Shepherd’s Pies are fantastic!  they are so small and really very light. So much so that you might just assume that there are no calories . . . but there are a few!  This recipe makes 4 dozen and when I did my test run with them I only made 1/2 of the recipe . . . 2 dozen.  I only got to eat 3 of the 24 . . . the other 21 mysteriously vanished as in with my husband Pat!

We made these at my March cooking class and they were a great hit!  their easy and fun to make and make for a super appetizer!

Let’s get started!








  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped carrot
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2/3 cup beef broth
  • 1/3 cup frozen petite peas
  • 2 packages (17.3 ounces each) frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 3 cups mashed potatoes


  1. In a large skillet, cook the beef, onion, celery and carrot over medium heat until beef is no longer pink; drain.
  2. Stir in the flour, thyme, salt, nutmeg and pepper until blended; gradually add the broth.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until sauce is thickened.  Stir in peas; heat through. Set aside.
  3. Unfold puff pastry. Using a floured 1 ¼ inch round cutter, cut 12 circles from each sheet (save scraps for another use.) Press circles onto the bottoms and up the sides of ungreased miniature muffin cups.
  4. Fill each with 1 ½ teaspoons beef mixture; top or pipe with 1 tablespoon mashed potatoes.  Bake at 400 degrees for 13 – 16 minutes or until heated through and potatoes are lightly browned.  Serve warm.  Yield 4 Dozen.


Thank you for reading!


For more information about upcoming cooking classes or accommodations in The Lark Inn Guesthouses, please visit our website.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment