This is my mother-in-law’s recipe was handed down to her by her father-in-law. They are a family favorite. This lamb and rice stuffed grape leaves take some time and effort to put together, but they are so worth it. I love the way it makes the house smell when they are cooking. When these grape leaves are served, no one is late for dinner!
- 1lb lamb, ground
- 1 cup rice, rinsed
- 1 16oz jar grape leaves in brine
- 1 package of lamb shoulder/Chop (2pk)
- Can crushed tomatoes
- 2 to 3 teaspoons crushed mint
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- Pita bread
- Gently remove, unroll and separate grape leaves
- In a medium size bowl mix together the ground lamb, rice(rinsed), salt and pepper.
- Place grape leaves on work surface with smooth side down (ribs of leaves up).
- Place a rounded tablespoon of lamb-rice filling near bottom-center of grape leaf.
- Fold bottom sections of leaf over mixture, fold over sides, and roll toward the top of the leaf into a firm cylinder. Don't roll too tightly or leaves may burst when rice cooks.
- In the bottom of a large pot place the lamb shoulder.
- Place grape lives in pot by arranging them along the sides, then working toward the center to cover the bottom. Leave enough space between dolmas to allow for expansion, but close enough to hold their shapes when cooking.
- If necessary, stack another layer on top of the first so they all fit.
- Pour crushed tomatoes on top.
- Fiill can half and swirl to get leftover sauce add mint and garlic, and pour over crushed tomatoes. You want to make sure you have enough liquid to cover grape leaves.
- Invert a small plate and then a larger plate over the grape leaves to weigh them down while they cook and prevent them from shifting.
- Cook over low heat for 1 to 2 hours.
- Remove plates and check for doneness. Grape leaves should look a bit puffed up, and a fork should pierce them easily.
- If not quite done, continue cooking without the weights: cover the pot and simmer until rice is tender, 10 to 15 minutes longer.
- Serve with pita bread and enjoy:)
3-1/2 cups ground lamb
4 cups rice (rinsed)
2 16oz jar grape leaves in brine
1 package lamb shoulder/chop (2 in a pack)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
Prepare as single batch and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours