Prep 1 hr
Cook 25 mins
This recipe came from my grandfather, he was 100% Lebanese. I have a Lebanese reunion every year and this is what I make and it's the first to go. I serve it with my home made garlic sauce and Lebanese bread YUM!
- 1 cup uncle bens converted rice
- 1⁄2 lb ground lamb
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
- 1⁄4 cup lemon juice
- 1⁄2 cup lemon juice, for in pot
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 6 cups water, cover over leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Wash& stem fresh grape leaves briefly to slightly wilt and drape over something.
- While drying make filling sauce.
- Mix lamb, rice, seasonings, lemon juice and butter.
- Stuff grape leaves with half of a tablespoon or more of the rice mixture.
- Put the mixture close to the bottom where the stem was at,fold and roll like you would a burrito.
- When done stuffing, line bottom of stock pot with torn or broken grape leaves then layer with stuffed grape leaves firmly packed with loose flap down in a 3 quart pot, in tight parallel rows, alternating each layer the opposite way (this will help to keep them from moving) when done line with more torn grape leaves on top, put flat plate on top of grape leave and a pitcher of water on top of the plate to help keep it down.
- fill pot with about 4 to 6 cups of boiled water, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and a 1/2 cup of lemon juice and salt so that it is just above the grape leaves.
- Bring to boil and simmer for about 20 to 25 till done (check one to see if done).
- Remove grape leaves with tongs.
- NOTES: Save some of the juice for reheating in the mirowave, and cover.
To enhance the flavor, you can add a bit of tomato paste to the sauce(they wont be saucy, but instead have a savory flavor to them), or also some people slice up tomatoes and layer them in the pot along with the grape leaves.
Continuing saga... My husband loved them and I have to say I made them effortlessly, I assume that as we get older things don't seem as difficult. I took many to my parents as it was late mum only had one and gave me a lovely compliment saying that they were better then the ones she has made. I sure she said that to my sister when she made them. She said they tasted wonderful. I was surprised but I knew that they were very close to mums original article. I was so very pleased with my effort and will make them again. Most time is taken wrapping them, I also believe that you should never rush them. "They should be made with love", that is one of my quotes I always use and I believe it to be true. A few things to add here... I always test food with my sense of smell, the only way to test the aroma. In addition to the ingredients above I used beef mince instead of lamb, one large onion, a can of tomatoes pureed, Dutch cinnamon, dried mint, white pepper as these are also used by mum. I didn't measure the quality I judged by smell. I did place half a cup of lemon juice, oil and some salt in the pot. I also believe that it is very important to use good olive oil. I hope that I will be able to make them as lovely as this sometime soon. I basically fried the onion that I diced until brown, added all the other ingredients until the mince was no longer brown. I did rinsed the rice before adding to the mince mixture. Then I wrapped them tightly. Actually mum did say that I should have rinsed the grapevine leaves for longer as she said they were a touch salty. I had a 500g pack of leaves and had some leftover. Mum said I could freeze the rest to use another time. Enjoy! anastasia
I just love these things. My only problem is I found rolling the leaves tricky.