Prep 3 hrs 30 mins
Cook 2 hrs 30 mins
I make this for my family every Greek Easter and they absolutely adore it. There's never one left. My Nana (Dad's Mum) passed this on to my Mum, who has passed on to me for safe keeping. It takes ages to make this, but it's so worth it!
- 1 (500 g) packet grape leaves, washed
- 700 g beef mince
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 onions, chopped very finely
- 2 tomatoes, chopped very finely
- 1 cup of half cooked white rice
- 3 tablespoons butter
- salt & pepper
- Combine all ingredients, except the vine leaves and refrigerate for one hour or overnight if possible.
- Wash the vine leaves, and cut out the big vein running down the middle of the bigger ones as this can be quite bitter.
- Take some smaller or broken vine leaves and use to line the base of a big, deep saucepan so the dolmades aren't touching the base.
- Take a teaspoonful (or more if it will fit) of the mince mixture and place it on the vine leaf. Wrap and roll the leaf around the mince, ensuring all the mixture is encased within the leaf.
- Roll until all leaves or mince runs out (although this should be just enough to ensure none of either is left).
- Place stuffed leaves into the saucepan following its shape (i.e in a circular motion) until all dolmades are in the pot. Ensure dolmades are also placed in the middle of the pot, again following the circular shape.
- Once all dolmades are in the pot, dob the butter on top (anywhere, no need to be precious about this) and cover with an inverted dinner or side plate so dolmades don't float once they start to simmer.
- Just cover the dolmades with water, bring to the boil, and simmer for 2.5 hours.
- Serve warm with tzatziki or avgolemono.
- Serves 10 to 12 as a main course (depending on how hungry everyone is!).