Prep 1 hr 30 mins
Cook 25 mins
This are like little cigars, only edible, lol! I have really americanized my traditional recipe over the years, and everyone loves them so much better than the real version, so I decided I would post it, so friends and family can use it too. Remeber to rol this his, about he width and size of your finger... larger ones are not as appealing as the nice small tighly rolled leaves.
- 1 (16 ounce) jar grape leaves
- 2 lbs ground lamb, very lean
- 2 1⁄2 cups whie rice, like mahatma brand
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 ounces tomato paste
- 1 (8 ounce) can whole tomatoes
- If you have lefover filling, you can stuff it into a cleaned, cored bell pepper, or roll then in cabbage leaves.
- Rinse the grape leaves in clean water, and pinch the stems off.
- Put then in a collander over a bown while u work wih them.
- Mix all the fillings together, rice, lamb, salt, garlic and tomato paste.
- Prepare a deep pot by puting in lamb bones (ask the butcher to cut up a few shank bones or leg bones for u) in the bottom of the pot.
- If you don't want to do this, or can't, use your silverware in the bottom of the pot, a rack will not keep them high enough-- maybe u could use a basket, but I don't I just use bones or silverware to keep the leaves off the bottom.
- now line what ever you have chosen to use with a few grape leaves and the stems u have pinched off.
- Lay the grape leaf with the shiney side down on a clean flat surface (counter top is fine) u want to see the rough back, and the leaf viens.
- Put about 1 tbls of the filling on to each leaf, and flatten it out into a finger lenght& width, but now going all the way to the edges.
- Starting at the back, where u pinched the stem off, roll up over the meat mixture, then tuck in the sides, now roll tighly up.
- Similarly to rolling a cigar.
- now line the pot with the rolled grape leaves, alternating directions with each layer-- pack these tightly.
- When you are finished rolling the leaves, you will need to find a plate to lay on top of these leaves cause u r going to weight the leaves down with a full jar of water.
- when u have the plate, and large canning jar of water ontop, fill the pot to the top of the plate with water, hen bring to a boil, then you will have to watch the pot, and keep the water level up with boiling water (keep a kettle also boiling while u boil the leaves) these cook faster this way, approx 25 min, per jar.