Simply Lebanese

Lebanese Stuffed Grape Leaves

Stuffed Grape Leaves
  • Prep Time
    60 mins
  • Cook Time
    60 mins
  • Serving
    4
Stuffed grape leaves known as “Warak Enab” in Arabic, is a Lebanese dish of spiced rice and beef rolled in grape leaves and simmered in a Lemony broth.
Stuffed Grape Leaves

Stuffed grape leaves are a very popular dish all around the world. Just off the top of my head, I can think of a Greek version, a Turkish version, Russian one and many middle-eastern versions as well. I grew up eating Lebanese stuffed grape leaves quite often, especially the meat version which is the one I am making today. There is a delicious vegan version that I will save for another day.

The spiced ground beef and rice stuffing is actually the same stuffing used in my stuffed zucchini “Koosa” recipe. As a result, quite often you will see the two dishes cooked on the same day. My mother would always make a big bowl of the stuffing and stuff the squash and eggplant and then pop open a jar of grape leaves and stuff as many as she can with the leftover rice mixture. Lamb chops or ribs are simmered along with the stuffed grape leaves in a lemony broth giving them the most wonderful flavor.

If you are not a fan of lamb, you can definitely use beef stew cubes as I have before, with great results. What I do with the meat, is sear them for a few minutes on each side, then add water to the pot to boil them. I then place the cooked cubes on the bottom of the pot and place all the stuffed grapes leaves on top. I use the fresh beef broth and combine it with lemon juice to cook the grape leaves with. Since lamb chops and ribs do not need remotely as much cooking time, I do not fully precook them but rather just sear them. For the grape leaves that I use, I buy prepackaged tightly in a jar with a brine. I have not been able to find fresh leaves anywhere nearby but, if you are able to, that would be ideal.

STEP 1

Begin by rinsing the rice 3 times with cold water.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the ground beef, washed rice, 7 spices, cinnamon, black pepper and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix to combine.

Stuffed Grape Leaves

STEP 2

Unpack the jar of grape leaves and place in a colander.
Rinse the brine using cold water and set aside to drain any water.

STEP 3

Place a grape leaf vein-side up on a large plate or cutting board.

Using a small paring knife, cut the small stem off.

Drop about 1 tablespoon of the beef and rice filling and spread into a thin line leaving enough room on both sides of the leaf for rolling.

STEP 4

Fold each side of the leaf over the filling beginning with the bottom side and roll tightly to prevent the leaf from opening up while cooking. Repeat until you have no more leaves left.

*If the grape leaf is very large, cut in half, then stuff and roll.

STEP 5

Using a paper towel, pat the lamb chops dry.

Season with a half teaspoon of salt. In a deep pot, heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil.

Sear the lamb chops on high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side.

STEP 6 - Cooking the Grape Leaves

Arrange the stuffed leaves side by side and on top of each other over the seared lamb chops.

Place a plate about 1-2 inches smaller in diameter than the pot, over the stuffed leaves.
*Add some weight to the plate by adding a can. This will keep the grape leaves secure.

Fill the pot with enough water to cover all the leaves and up to the plate. Add the freshly squeezed lemon juice and season with remaining half teaspoon of salt.

Cook on medium to high heat until boiling.

Reduce to medium-low heat and cook for 45min to 1 hour.
To check if grape leaves are done, take a grape leaf out and try it!

Once the grape leaves are done cooking, Flip the pot over onto a serving platter.
There should very little lemon water left. Serve warm.

Stuffed Grape Leaves
Stuffed Grape Leaves

Lebanese Stuffed Grape Leaves

Stuffed grape leaves known as “Warak Enab” in Arabic, is a Lebanese dish of spiced rice and beef rolled in grape leaves and simmered in a Lemony broth.
4.65 from 17 votes
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Lebanese
Keyword: grape leaves, stuffed grape leaves, Warak Enab
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 4
Calories: 544kcal
Author: Iman

Ingredients

  • ¾ jar Grape Leaves (About 60-80 leaves)
  • 1 cup Long Grain Rice
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • tsp. 7 Spices
  • ½ tsp. Black Pepper
  • ¼ tsp. Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 lb. Lamb Chops or Ribs
  • 2 Lemons juiced
  • 1 tb. Vegetable Oil
  • 6 cups Water (enough to cover grape leaves in pot)

Instructions

  • Begin by rinsing the rice 3 times with cold water. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the ground beef, washed rice, 7 spices, cinnamon, black pepper and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix to combine. 
  • Unpack the jar of grape leaves and place in a colander. Rinse the brine using cold water and set aside to drain any water. 
  • Place a grape leaf vein-side up on a large plate or cutting board. Using a small paring knife, cut the small stem off. Drop about 1 tablespoon of the beef and rice filling and spread into a thin line leaving enough room on both sides of the leaf for rolling.
  • Fold each side of the leaf over the filling beginning with the bottom side and roll tightly to prevent the leaf from opening up while cooking. Repeat until you have no more leaves left. *If the grape leaf is very large, cut in half, then stuff and roll. 
  • Using a paper towel, pat the lamb chops dry. Season with a half teaspoon of salt. In a deep pot, heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil. Sear the lamb chops on high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side. 
  • Arrange the stuffed leaves side by side and on top of each other over the seared lamb chops. Place a plate about 1-2 inches smaller in diameter than the pot, over the stuffed leaves. Fill the pot with enough water to cover all the leaves and up to the plate. Add the freshly squeezed lemon juice and season with remaining half teaspoon of salt. Cook on medium to high heat until boiling. Reduce to medium-low heat and cook for 45min to 1 hour. To check if grape leaves are done, take a grape leaf out and try it!
  • Once the grape leaves are done cooking, Flip the pot over onto a serving platter. There should very little lemon water left. Serve warm.

Nutrition

Calories: 544kcal | Carbohydrates: 48.9g | Protein: 42.7g | Fat: 20.9g | Saturated Fat: 6.7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2.6g | Cholesterol: 110.9mg | Sodium: 267.6mg | Potassium: 82.1mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 3.7g | Vitamin A: 11555IU | Vitamin C: 20.2mg | Calcium: 172mg | Iron: 5.9mg

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