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Serves 12

Authentic recipe for the mezze dish of stuffed vine leaves

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  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1lb. ground pork, beef or lamb
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 2 tbs. tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 40-50 vine leaves plus extra to line the pot salt & pepper
  • chicken, vegetable or beef stock


    1. Heat the oil in a skillet, add the onion and fry it until translucent. Add the meat and cook until its crumbly. Add the rice, tomato paste, dill , water, salt & pepper. Cook it all together for about 10 minutes until the water is absorbed. Keep an eye on the mixture as it cooks and keep stirring it so the rice doesn't stick to the bottom. Set aside. Using a large pot (make sure you have a lid for it), line the bottom with the extra grape leaves. This will keep your stuffed leaves from getting burned. Follow the directions for Stuffing Vine Leaves. Place the roll seam side down in your leaf-lined pot. Continue rolling up the leaves and arranging them side by side in the pot until all the stuffing is used. You want a sort of tight fit so that they don't unravel when cooking. If you run out of room in the pot, it's ok to add more rolls on top of bottom layers. Simmer over a low heat for about 30 mins or until the rice is cooked. Stuffing Vine Leaves Either way, fresh leaves or preserved, begin by rinsing them well under running water and setting them aside to drain. Place a grape leaf in the palm of your hand 'veins up'. Put a tablespoon of the stuffing mixture into the center of the leaf. Fold in each side over the stuffing, then fold up the bottom so it resembles an envelope, and roll it up into a parcel. Be patient, as it takes time and practice to learn how to roll these babies up.
    2. Tip Vine leaves are available in most supermarkets now. They will usually be in the speciality or ethnic food aisle.

Comments, questions and tips

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14th Nov, 2011
i have a vine leef stuffing machine and its all written in Greek i have enough problems reading English ha ha stuffing very loverly on its own will eventurly try it in the vine leaves
12th Oct, 2010
Very tasty- however I used fresh vine leaves and they didnt want to stay rolled up so although they tasted delicious they did look a bit messy.
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