Lebanese Stuffed Grape Leaves (Warak Enab) are widespread in several Mediterranean countries and in the Middle East. It has several names depending on the province. The Greeks call it Dolmathes/Dolmas and the Egyptian and the Lebanese call it Mahshi Wara’ inab/Mahshi Wrak enab/Warak enab.
Lebanese Stuffed Grape Leaves (Warak Enab)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp ground allspice
- 1 1/2 cups short grain rice
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 jar grape leaves about 60-70 in brine
- 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes sliced
- 1/4 cup lemon juice,
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
Prepare Hashweh (the Stuffing)
- In a heated large pan, cook ground beef until browned with olive oil. Season with salt and ground allSpice.
- Add uncooked rice to the cooked ground beef, then drizzle some cinnamon powder and ground black pepper. Mix well until everything is combined.
Preparing the Grape Leaves
- Drain grapevine leaves from the jar and steep them in a large bowl of water.
- Mildly separate the leaves and wash them individually. Pile those leaves on a dish and keep them aside. Best, if you cover them with a moist cloth so they don't dry out until you are ready to start rolling them.
Stuff, Wrap and Cook
- Place a grape leaf vein-side up on a large plate or cutting board. Using a small paring knife, cut the small stem off. scoop out a heaping teaspoon of the rice mixture into the center of the grape leaf. Spread into a thin line leaving enough room on both sides of the leaf for rolling. Carefully fold in the sides and roll it like you would when making a wrap.
- Repeat until all the stuffing has been used and place the wrapped grape leaves in a tray.
- The trick is to roll it tightly enough so that it doesn't loosen while cooking, but not too tightly since the rice needs room to expand as it cooks.
- Line the bottom of a large pot with tomatoes and/or potatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Neatly arrange the stuffed and rolled grape leaves in rows, alternating directions, to completely cover the circumference of the pot. Drizzle each layer with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place a plate about 1-2 inches smaller in diameter than the pot, cover the stuffed leaves. This will hold them down and prevent floating while they are cooking.
- 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 a remaining half teaspoon of salt. Cover the pot and 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, remove from heat and let cool uncovered for 30 minutes. Flip the pot over onto a serving platter. There should be very little lemon water left. Serve warm!