• 1 1/2 lbs. uncooked ground beef or ground lamb
• 16 oz. can of tomato sauce or 2 1/2 cups peeled, diced tomatoes
• 2 cups uncooked white rice
• 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
• 1 tablespoon coriander
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon black pepper
• 2 tablespoons of lemon
• 1 16 oz. jar grape leaves or 1 lb. fresh vine leaves
• 1 lemon sliced
Remove grape leaves from jar and soak for a few hours in cold water. If not soaked properly, they have a very salty taste.
While grape leaves are soaking, mix together ground beef, tomato sauce, rice, parsley, coriander, salt, pepper and lemon juice. This is best done with your hands. Cover and place in refrigerator until ready to stuff leaves.
Preparing the Grape Leaves to Stuff
Drain grape leaves and dry with paper towels. Remove stems. Place leaves shiny side down and have you meat mixture ready.
Stuffing and Wrapping
Put about a teaspoon of mixture towards the bottom of the leaf. Fold in sides and roll upwards tightly. Do not roll too tightly. The rice does expand during cooking and may tear the leaf.
Repeat with remaining leaves and mixture.
How to Properly Place Them in The Pot
In a large saucepan or dutch oven, place them side by side in circle layers. Place two lemon slices between the layers of grape leaves.
Put a weight on top of the last layer of stuffed grape leaves. I use a ceramic plate. This ensure that the leaves to do not move around during cooking. Fill with pot with water, covering the leaves. Simmer and cook for 30 minutes on low until the rice is done.
When rice is tender, remove vine leaves from pot and serve.