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Meat Stuffed Vine Leaves for Everyday

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Meat Stuffed Vine Leaves for EverydayA well know Lebanese dish prepared usually with zucchini, lamb intestines and cutlets. 

This is a simpler and lighter version of the same dish without jeopardizing the taste.

 

Ingredients:  6 servings

500 g vine leaves (canned or frozen may be used)

2 onions, sliced crosswise into thick slices

2 tomatoes, about 500 g, sliced into thick rounds

For the stuffing

500 g finely ground lamb or beef preferably with some fat

1 cup short grain rice, preferably Egyptian

2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon ground sweet pepper

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Salt as desired

  1. Remove vine leaves stems, wash and place in batches in salted boiling water few seconds or till tender then remove to cold water.  Drain.
  2. Place onion slices in the bottom of a medium size pot and top with the tomato slices.

To prepare stuffing:

  1. Wash rice, drain and mix with the rest of the ingredients.

To finish dish: 

1. Place a vine leaf on working surface so that shiny side is down and place near the removed stem about 1 tablespoon of the stuffing. 

  1. Fold sides over stuffing then roll like a cigarette.
  2. Continue with the rest of the vine leaves and place them on top of the tomatoes in the pot.  Place a small plate over the stuffed vine leaves touching the leaves with a weight on top.
  3. Cover stuffed vine leaves with hot water and little salt and place over high heat till the mixture comes to a boil.  Lower heat to very low and place a diffuser between the heat and the pot if available. (Cover of a can will do)
  4. Cook about one hour or till water evaporates, adding little more hot water if needed.
  5. Serve hot with yogurt on the side.

N.B.:

 Recipe may be prepared a day ahead and reheated in microwave or on the range top after adding little hot water.

   
© 2005 Cooking Courses Marlene Matar