Friday, September 23, 2011

Greek Stuffed Grape Leaves

Now that I've worked myself into a Greek Food frenzy, I thought I would share this recipe for stuffed grape leaves that I developed for the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California. These are INCREDIBLE. If you've never tried grape leaves, these are the ones to try. I have had hundreds of requests for the recipe and never gave it up, so today is your lucky day! These freeze beautifully, so you can do what I do and double or triple the recipe when you make it and freeze individual servings for a quick, delicious meal later. I have been known to make so many of these in one day, I had to cook them in my canning pot.

Greek Stuffed Grape Leaves

1 pound ground pork
3/4 cup uncooked white rice
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 jar grape leaves, or about 50 fresh grape leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound country style pork ribs
1 tomato, sliced
1/2 cup lemon juice
40 garlic cloves


In a large mixing bowl, mix together the ground beef, rice, garlic powder, allspice, salt, pepper, and cinnamon, and set aside.

Rinse grape leaves several times. If the leaves are small, leave them intact, but cut out the large center vein. If the leaves are large, cut them in half vertically, cutting out the large vein in the process. Place a small amount of the ground meat mixture at the end of each leaf. Roll up egg-roll style.

Pour the oil into the bottom of a large Dutch oven. Lay the ribs over the oil. Lay the tomato slices over the chops.

Place the stuffed grape leaves seam-side down on top of the rib. Pack the leaves tightly and begin a second layer when necessary. Place whole garlic cloves randomly between the rolled leaves; plenty of garlic on each layer.

When you are done stacking, pour the lemon juice over the leaves, and add water to the pot to about 2-inches above the rolled leaves. To prevent the leaves from unrolling during cooking, place a plate on top of the stack of leaves and place a heavy object on top of the plate.

Simmer the leaves over low heat for about 2 hours.

Serve leaves with shredded pork from ribs and a crusty bread for spreading the sweet garlic cloves. Yum!

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