In Greek: ντολμαδάκια με κιμά, pronounced dohl-mah-THAHK-yah meh kee-MAH
The combination of ground beef and pork is a Greek favorite, and this recipe is one of the easier and quicker variations to make. Stuffing and rolling the leaves takes time, but the recipe is made in large quantities and can be refrigerated for several days or frozen.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
- 1 3/4 pounds of mixed ground beef and pork (half and half)
- 1/2 bunch of fresh parsley, leaves and tender top stems, finely chopped
- 2 medium ripe tomatoes, grated or chopped in food processor (2-3 seconds)
- 1 white onion, coarsely grated
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 1 cup of long-grain white rice, rinsed well
- 1/4 + 1 cup of olive oil
- 3/4 cup of water
- 2 1/4 pounds of small tender grape leaves (about 220 leaves)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon of flour
Blanch the Grape Leaves
Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large pot, add juice of 1/2 lemon and the salt. Carefully unroll the leaves (do not separate them). Turn off the heat and place leaves in the hot water for 3 minutes. Remove leaves and place them in a bowl and cover with cold water. When cooled, drain in a colander. It is not unusual for some of the outer leaves in the jar or can to be damaged, or to tear while using.
Prepare the Filling
Combine ground meat, parsley, tomatoes, onion, salt, rice, and 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large bowl. Mix well by hand.
Stuff and Roll the Grape Leaves
Gently separate one leaf and place it shiny side down on a work surface or in the palm of your left hand (right hand for lefties). With your other hand, place a pinch (up to a teaspoon) of the filling on the leaf at the point where the stem joined the leaf. Pinch up the bottom of the leaf over the filling, then each side inward in parallel folds, and roll up the leaf. Roll should be firm, not tight, as the filling will expand during cooking. Repeat until all the filling has been used.
Cook and Serve
Place stuffed leaves (dolmathakia) in a heavy-bottomed pot in layers. Pour remaining 3/4 cups of oil over the leaves and bring to a boil over high heat. Shake the pot a few times while heating to prevent sticking. When liquid comes to a rolling boil, cook for 2 minutes. Add water, reduce heat, and cook for 20 minutes partially covered.
Combine lemon juice and flour in a small bowl and mix with a fork until flour is dissolved. Add 2-3 ladles of liquid from the pot to the lemon-flour mixture, stir to combine and pour back into the pot. Cover and cook 2 minutes. Remove pot from heat and set aside to cool.
Dolmathakia are served at room temperature, but many enjoy them slightly warm. Cooling in the covered pot takes about 3-4 hours to the slight warm stage. Serve as an appetizer or side dish, alone or with avgolemono (egg and lemon sauce), lemon wedges, tzatziki, or thick yogurt on the side.
These will keep well in the refrigerator for about 5 days. Return to room temperature before serving. Cover to store. They can also be frozen. If you do freeze, reheat in the microwave or by steaming. Don’t just thaw and eat.
- If you have a choice of grape leaves, use leaves from Sultana (Thompson Seedless) grapes. They are very flexible and a bit hardier than other types.
- This quantity filled my 7-quart stock pot to about the halfway point . I could have used a smaller pot.