Dolmathes ( Meat Stuffed Grape Leaves)

READY IN: 1hr 15mins




  • Heat oil in large skillet.
  • Add onion and saute until transparent but don't brown.
  • Add meat, stirring to break into pieces.
  • Add rice,dill,pine nuts, water and tomato paste; season to taste with pepper.
  • Cook over medium heat until water is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
  • Cover bottom of Dutch oven with layer of the smaller grape leaves and any that get torn in the process of rolling.
  • Stuff remaining leaves by placing leaf shiny side down, on the palm of hand, with base of leaf toward wrist and tip of leaf toward middle finger.
  • Put a spoonful of meat mixture in the center.
  • Fold base of leaf over stuffing, then fold sides of leaf over (like an envelope), tucking edges in snugly.
  • Arrange tip side down in pan.
  • Add broth to within 1 inch of top layer; use any leftover leaves to cover top layer.
  • Place plate upside down over top layer and press.
  • Cover and cook over medium heat until rice is tender, about 30 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with lemon juice and cook 5 minutes longer.
  • Let cool to room temperature, or chill thoroughly.
  • Garnish with lemon slices and serve.
  • *The stuffed grape leaves can be prepared 2 to 3 days before serving and refrigerated or they may be frozen, If frozen, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then add a little broth or water before gently reheating in a pan.