30 grape leaves (fresh or jarred)
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 bunches of scallions, fine chop
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
Approx. 2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup tomato puree
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
juice of half a lemon
2 Tbsp. flour
1 – Prepare an ice water bath and set aside.
2 – To prepare grape leaves, bring a medium pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat, add grape leaves, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes (depending upon the size of the leaves) or until leaves are tender but still hold their shape.
3 – Remove grape leaves from the water and submerge them in the ice water bath. Allow the leaves to cool for 5 minutes and then strain.
4 – Using a paring knife, remove the stem from each vine leaf and reserve. Let’s move on to preparing the filling.
5 – In a large skillet, add your olive oil to the pan and medium heat, saute your scallions for about 5 minutes to soften.
6 – Add your chopped herbs, tomato sauce and mix well while cooking for another five minutes. Take the skillet off the heat and allow to cool for a 10 minutes.
7 – Add your ground beef and rice to the skillet and mix it in well with the rest of the filling.
8 – Place the shiny side of the leaf face down (the veins should face inward). Drop about a tablespoon of filling in the center.
9 – Flip the bottom part of the leaf over, then fold the sides of the leaf in then, roll the leaf towards the top to form your parcel (each parcel should be snug, but not tight).
10 – Place your Dolmadaki into a casserole dish and repeat steps 8 and 9, filling your casserole with Dolmadakia, side by side until the the bottom is completely covered. Continue layering the Dolmadakia until the casserole is filled with your parcels.
11 – Pour the stock into the casserole (enough to just cover the dolmades) and put the lid on the casserole (or cover) and place into a preheated 375F oven and cook for 60-70 minutes.
For the Avgolemeno
1 – In a large bowl, beat eggs and flour with a fork or a whisk until they begin to get foamy, about 3 minutes.
2 – Add lemon juice in a steady stream, and continue beating for an additional minute.
3 – Add the hot cooking liquid (one ladle at a time) from the dolmathes, and beat for 1 minute more.
4 – Pour some sauce back into the casserole with the dolmathes and the rest into another medium pot.
5 – Stirring constantly, heat sauce over low heat for about 3 minutes (do not let it come to a boil. Adjust seasoning with salt.
6 – Pour over the warm Dolmadakia or serve on the side.