Greek Dolmades (Non-Vegetarian) Recipe

Greek Dolmades (Non-Vegetarian)
AKA: Stuffed Grape Leaves
Submitted By: Taz

Ingredients:

1 (16oz) Jar Grape Leaves - drained and rinsed
1 lb Ground Round
1 lb Ground Lamb (can substitute 1 lb ground round if desired)
1 Large Yellow Onion - very finely chopped
2 cloves Fresh Garlic - minced
¼ Cup Flat Leafed Parsley - finely chopped
1 Cup Short-grain Rice
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Juice of 4 Lemons
Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste
-OPTIONAL-
¼ Cup Fresh Dill -OR- Fresh Mint - finely chopped
-GARNISH-
Lemon Wedges
Plain Greek Yogurt OR Tzatziki for dipping

Preparation:
  1. Drain the jar of grape leaves and carefully remove the grape leaves - Thoroughly rinse the leaves under cold water and place in a colander to drain
  2. Rinse rice under cold water until water runs clear - Drain and transfer to a large bowl
  3. Add ground round, ground lamb, onion, garlic, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste (apx 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper) - Mix until well combined (DO NOT 'squeeze' the meat)
  4. Use kitchen shears to remove thick stems from the grape leaves - Separate out any torn grape leaves and use those to line your cooking pot (use a large pot [I use a 5 quart] and grease with 2 Tbs of olive oil - line with a layer of grape leaves)
  5. Place leaves 'vein side up' on counter or table (place out as many as you can fit creating an 'assembly line')
  6. Place a scant Tbs of the filling (less for smaller leaves) in the bottom center of each leaf - Fold the bottom of the leaf over the filling and then fold the sides of the leaf to the center - Roll from the bottom into a tight cylinder (this is like making an egg roll - just more delicate) - Transfer, seam side down, to the pot (dolmades should be touching and 'snuggly' fit filling the bottom of the pot) - do in several layers if necessary
  7. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and the lemon juice - Add just enough water to cover the dolmades (you can use chicken broth if desired) - Place an inverted plate that fits inside the pot on top of the dolmades to keep them from opening during cooking
  8. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat - Allow to simmer for 30-40 minutes until the water has been completely absorbed or until tender and cooked through
  9. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly so they are easier to handle - Serve hot or warm with lemon wedges and Greek yogurt or tzatziki

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