Mom’s Stuffed Grape Leaves

I grew up eating grape leaves. They are an acquired taste being that the grape leaves sit in brine and stuffed in jars. The brine soaks into the leaves and at the first turn of the jar you can smell the aroma of…brine. I don’t know how else to explain brine…vinegary with a slight tang, if that makes any sense.

Mom's Stuffed Grape Leaves via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

I remember mom making grape leaves and this time was my first time doing it all by myself. We roll and roll those leaves and have an assembly line going with a stuffer and a roller. These are different than the “other” ones you may find at Greek restaurants. No one makes them like my mom does and other places stuff them with pine nuts and dill and I’ve even heard of raisins. But I have to say, and call me bias, but Mom’s stuffed grape leaves are still my favorite.
Mom's Stuffed Grape Leaves via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

It is super simple and super flavorful. Ground beef and rice are the only 2 ingredients stuffed in those big briney leaves. The leaves are soaked and soaked to help minimize that initial tang flavor yet it still offers its distinct flavor. Slices of lemon and pats of butter (Ssshh..don’t tell anyone) are placed in the slow simmer pot and the water from the leaves creates a small pool of sauce, enough to soften the stuffed leaves perfectly.

I am also sharing this recipe over at Nosh On. It for their World Cuisine Wednesday feature, which is right up my alley. I really love their site because they feature a different type of cuisine every day of the week. You can sign up for their emails right here!

Method:

1) Remove packed grape leaves from the jar and gently pour into a colander. Unfold leaves, being careful not to tear and run cold water over them for a few minutes. Make sure all the leaves have been rinsed well.

Mom's Stuffed Grape Leaves via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

2) In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef and rice. Season with salt and pepper.

*You can test out a small meatball size in a frying pan to test the seasoning.

3) On a large work surface, set up an assembly line: Have a place to roll the leaf, the bowl with beef mixture and a large pot to place rolled leaves in.

Mom's Stuffed Grape Leaves via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

4) On a flat, clean surface spread the leaf flat. There are 2 sides of the leaf. A “shiny” side and a “dull” side. Have the dull side facing you and the shine side down. Remove the stem with a small knife.

Mom's Stuffed Grape Leaves via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

5) Place a small teaspoon size of meat mixture onto the bottom of the leaf.

Mom's Stuffed Grape Leaves via LittleFerraroKitchen.com
6) Roll up half way and then tuck the sides in. Continue to roll until sealed.

Mom's Stuffed Grape Leaves via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

Mom's Stuffed Grape Leaves via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

7) Place stuffed leaves, seam side down, on the bottom of the pot.

*Place lemon slices in between layers of stuffed leaves.

Mom's Stuffed Grape Leaves via LittleFerraroKitchen.com
Mom's Stuffed Grape Leaves via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

8) When all the leaves are stuffed, pour 1/4-1/2 cup of water in slowly and 2-3 Tb of butter. Any torn leaves cam be placed on top to help steam.

Mom's Stuffed Grape Leaves via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

9) Cook on low-medium for about 1 hour, until the leaves are tender and meat is cooked.

Mom’s Stuffed Grape Leaves

Ingredients

  • 1 jar grape leaves
  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 3/4 cup uncooked white rice
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 3 Tb butter, separated
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Remove packed grape leaves from the jar and gently pour into a colander. Unfold leaves, being careful not to tear and run cold water over them for a few minutes. Make sure all the leaves have been rinsed well.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef and rice. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. *You can test out a small meatball size in a frying pan to test the seasoning.
  4. On a large work surface, set up an assembly line: Have a place to roll the leaf, the bowl with beef mixture and a large pot to place rolled leaves in.
  5. On a flat, clean surface spread the leaf flat. There are 2 sides of the leaf. A "shiny" side and a "dull" side. Have the dull side facing you and the shine side down. Remove the stem with a small knife.
  6. Place a small teaspoon size of meat mixture onto the bottom of the leaf.
  7. Roll up half way and then tuck the sides in. Continue to roll until sealed.
  8. Place stuffed leaves, seam side down, on the bottom of the pot.
  9. *Place lemon slices in between layers of stuffed leaves.
  10. When all the leaves are stuffed, pour 1/4-1/2 cup of water in slowly and 2-3 Tb of butter. Any torn leaves cam be placed on top to help steam.
  11. Cook on low-medium for about 1 hour, until the leaves are tender and meat is cooked.
http://littleferrarokitchen.com/2012/12/moms-stuffed-grape-leaves/

Mom's Stuffed Grape Leaves via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

Comments

  1. says

    These are beautiful! I always order stuffed grape leaves out. I’ve picked up a jar of leaves to make at home but have never known what to do with them!

  2. Karen Snyder says

    I grew up eating these as well. My family is from Lebanon. We pick wild grape leaves. Also add diced tomatoes. Love them.

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