There are many variations of this recipe, often called Dolma. You can use cabbage leaves but I find the dish more tasteful with grape leaves with beef mince and rice. I prefer fresh grape leaves, but the recipe is equally delicious with jarred leaves.
Juicy Grape Leaves with Beef and Rice Filling
- 1.2 lbs ground beef
- ⅔ cup basmati rice - or any other type you prefer
- 0.9 lb grape leaves - fresh or jarred from your local grocery store
- ⅓ cup fresh dill - chopped
- ⅓ cup cilantro (coriander) - fresh, chopped
- 1 red onion - finely chopped
- 6 cups beef stock (beef broth or beef bouillon) - or chicken broth or water – hot
- 1 tsp salt - or to taste
- 1 tsp ground black pepper - or to taste
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 garlic bulb - 2 minced cloves
- ⅓ tsp salt
- You can cook the ground beef for 5 minutes in olive oil but that's optional.
- Blend the beef, rice, cilantro, chopped onion, dill and seasoning.
- Put the fresh grape leaves in boiling water until they become soft. Small leaves may take 30 seconds but larger leaves might need up to 3 minutes. If you opt for leaves from a jar, just rinse them off and make sure there are no thick stems.
- If using jarred leaves, rinse off the brine. If jarred leaves are thick, blanch them for 2 minutes before using them.
- If you find any large leaf, you can it in half so that the roll is of the same size as the others. If a leaf is cut or it has holes, don't throw it the trash; you can use two or three together to make rolls.
- Use a tablespoon to put the beef mix on the opaque side of each leaf.
- One by one roll the leaves tight and place them next to each other in a pot, in a circle without leaving any space.
- Cover with a heat-resistant plate.
- Pur the warm stock or water onto the pot until the leaves are almost covered.
- Cover the pot, and simmer for approximately one hour
- Blend the yogurt, garlic and salt.
- Put 4-5 rolls on a plate and serve together with a tbsp of the dressing.