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Stuffed grape leaves (not traditional)

1.5 lbs of ground beef
1/2 to 2/3 cup white rice
1 can tomato paste
1 jar of grape leaves or about 50 fresh, blanched, grape leaves
1-46oz can V-8 or tomato juice

 

1. In a bowl, mix the ground beef, rice and tomato paste.

2. Using a cutting board, lay out a grape leaf. Place a little of the filling mixture onto the bottom of the leaf.

3. Fold the bottom of the leaf up over the filling, the fold the sides over the leaf.

4. Roll the remainder of the leaf from the bottom to the top. The finished lesf should be a nice and tight.

5. After rolling all the leaves, line the bottom of a large sauce pan with two or three unrolled leaves. This will prevent the rolled leaves from burning during cooking.

6. Place the rolled leaves into the pan.

7. Since the rice inside the rolled leaves will expand during cooking, to prevent the leave from coming apart, place a saucer over the leave and then place a large cup of water onto the saucer. The filled cup will add weight and prevent the leaves from coming apart.

8. Pour V-8 or tomato jiuce into the sauce pan to the level of the saucer.

9. Once the juice begins to boil, lower the temperature to a simmer, just enough to keep the juice slightly boiling. Cook for about 80-90 minutes until the rice is fully cooked.

 

rolled grape leave

 
pan
 
finished grape leave

 

Submit questions and comments to:

Jaime El Sabio