Grape Leaves Stuffed with Herbed Lamb and Rice

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grapeleavesstuffedwithlambriceherbs

The blend of mint, dill and parsley- the Turkish spice trilogy-gives the ground lamb and rice wonderful flavor. Finger food, knife and fork, anyway you eat these, you will be happy.

  • 36 pieces ServingsServings

Ingredients

  • one 8 ounce bottle (drained weight) preserved grape leaves
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 large onion
  • ¾ cup long grain rice
  • 1 cup each: chopped -mint, dill, flat leaf parsley
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large lemons
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. Shake grape leaves out of jar into mixing bowl. You might have to pull on the top ones gently to ease them out. Cover leaves with boiling water and let them soak 20-25 minutes. Separate leaves carefully with a fork. They will probably be bunched together in groups of five or six and connected through their stems. Separate leaves, trim stems, and rinse each leaf separately in cold water. Drain and set aside.
  2. Peel onion and chop finely by hand or in food processor.  Mix onion with ground lamb, rice and chopped herbs. Season with black pepper. Add one tablespoon olive oil and mix thoroughly.
  3. Lay one grape leaf down on a flat surface with the tip of the stem facing you. Pinch off about two tablespoons of lamb mixture and form a log. Place the log toward the top of longest leaf. Keep folding leaf over meat until you reach the side leaves. Fold in each side and continue rolling until you have a tight roll. Repeat this process until you have rolled up all the meat.
  4. Arrange stuffed grape leaves in tight concentric circles in Dutch oven. You will have at least two layers and maybe a little bit more.
  5. Mix remaining three tablespoons olive oil with juice of large lemon and 2/3 cup water. Pour this mixture over stuffed grape leaves. Add more water if the liquid doesn’t come up at least half way up the top layer. Bring liquid to boil over medium heat. Cover with a piece of parchment and lay baking pellets wrapped in foil on top. Cover pot. Lower heat and steam Stuffed Grape Leaves for 45 minutes. Test one. The mixture should be soft-no crunchy rice. Serve hot with wedges of lemon.