Dolmades are a traditional Greek dish made of grape leaves stuffed with rice, herbs and ground beef. Patience is key when rolling the grape leaves one-by-one. The real trick is being able to roll the leaves tightly with the right amount of filling without ripping the leaf. It takes time and practice.
For tips on how to roll grape leaves, click here.
- 2 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1/3 Cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 Cup chopped dill
- 1/4 Cup chopped mint
- 1 to 2 large eggs
- 1/2 Cup rice, uncooked
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 (16-ounce) jar grape leaves
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 Cup lemon juice
Step 1: In a large bowl, combine 2 1/2 pounds ground beef, 1 small diced onion, 1/3 cup chopped parsley, 1/4 cup chopped dill, 1/4 cup chopped mint, 1 egg and 1/2 cup uncooked rice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Check consistency and if necessary, add another egg so the beef mixture holds its shape when pressed together.
Step 2: Strain 1 (16-ounce) jar grape leaves and discard the liquid. Gently separate the leaves, rinse with cold water and drain.
Step 3: Choose the largest leaves, approximately the same size. Lay the grape leaf on a clean surface and remove the tough stem. Place about 2 tablespoons of beef mixture (or more depending upon the size of the leaf) in the center of the leaf. Gently fold the top and sides of the leaf over the filling and roll tightly into a cylinder. Place in a baking dish and repeat with remaining filling and leaves, lining up the dolmades side-by-side in rows. (See notes for tips on how to roll grape leaves).
Step 4: Preheat oven to 350 F. Place oven-proof plates over leaves to keep submerged in liquid. Add enough water to cover the leaves. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and cover the dish with foil. Bake until leaves are cooked through, about 1 hour.
Step 5: Remove from oven and add 1/4 cup lemon juice to the pan. Set aside to cool. Store dolmades in cooking liquid to prevent drying out. Gently rewarm in liquid on stovetop or in oven to serve.