Voulas Offshore Cafe stuffed vine leaves

  • Preparation Time20 mins
  • Cooking Time60 mins
  • Serves10
  • DifficultyEasy
2 tbsp olive oil
450g minced beef
1/2 onion, finely diced
115g rice
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
10g freshly chopped parsley leaves
5g freshly chopped dill
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 jar vine leaves
30g butter

For the lemon sauce

720ml chicken stock (we use water and chicken soup base to make a strong chicken flavour)
1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp cold water
2 egg whites, whipped to soft peak
60ml lemon juice
1) Put the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, then add the minced beef, onions, rice and garlic and saute until the meat has browned.

2) Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parsley, dill, salt, pepper and oregano. Set aside to cool a little.

3) Place the vine leaves in a bowl and pour water over the top. Soak for 15 minutes and then drain. Transfer the leaves, dull-side down, to paper towels to dry.

4) Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5. Stuff the vine leaves by placing 1 heaped tbsp of the meat mixture in the centre of the dull-side of the leaf, fold the outer parts toward the centre and roll up like you would a burrito. Do not roll too tightly.

5) Arrange the rolls in side by side in layers in a deep baking pan. Once complete, fill the pan with water to the top of the vine leaves and place the butter on top. Cover with foil and bake 1 hour or until the water has been absorbed by the vine leaves.

6) Meanwhile make the lemon sauce. In large pan bring the chicken stock to a boil, then reduce the heat and add the cornflour slurry to achieve a consistency of gravy.

7) Have the whipped egg whites in a large bowl and add the gravy to them slowly, folding in. Be careful not to cook the whites, only temper them.

8) Whip until you have a creamy consistency and then add in the lemon juice. For that lemony flavour you may have to add more lemon juice to taste.

9) Plate up the stuffed vine leaves and pour the lemon sauce over the top.

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