Delicious, Nutritious and Economical: Dolmates are perfect for a buffet or potluck dinner!
Greek Dolmates Rolled in Grape Vine Leaves
- 1 kilo know-your-farmer ground beef (or pork, or lamb), not too lean
- 4-6 large , plump cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ medium onion , minced (½ cup)
- 2 generous tablespoons of fresh dill , minced
- ¾ cup rice
- 2 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt (leaves are salty)
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- large jar of preserved grapevine leaves
Unwrap grapevine leaves and rinse under cold water; place in colander and drain
Place all, except leaves, in large bowl; knead gently to incorporate
Wrap meat in leaves as per the instructions accompanying above photos, OR
Place leaf, inside up and stem down on board; place meatball size portion of filling on leaf
Fold leaf around filling; tuck ends in with thumb and middle finger while holding roll with other hand
Cover bottom of heavy pan with grape vine leaves (hopefully damaged ones)
Place rolled dolmates seam-side down on leaves on bottom of pan, close together; layer
Fill pot with water to just cover dolmate layers; bring the water to a boil, then turn heat down to simmer
Simmer with lid ajar for two hours, or until cooked; cool completely
Serve immediately on tray with Tzitziki, or
Layer into serving dish, cover with cooking liquid, place extra leaves on top for reheating, or freezing
I sometimes freeze rolls separately on parchment covered cookie sheet overnight, then transfer to labelled and dated ziplock bags, depending upon what I am making them for. Usually I load them into casserole dishes and freeze them until needed for buffets or potlucks. I always serve some immediately, with tzitziki, of course!
This time I was making them for our staff “Back to School Party” at the end of August and here they are below in the chaffing dish with the Tzitziki beside them in the leaf shaped dish. I still have some in the freezer. Vanja does not like these, so they will stay there until I am invited out and need to take something. Hopefully, soon!