Growing Chefs! Ontario Yabruk
Gather all of the ingredients and equipment you will need for this recipe!
Rinse the rice 2 – 3 times until the water is clear. Leave the rice to soak in the water for 5 minutes. Drain the rice very well using a strainer.
Measure out the lemon juice, olive oil, and mint.
Using a paring knife or a garlic press, mince or crush about 2 – 3 tablespoons of garlic. Set aside.
Cut the lemon into thin slices for garnish.
Mix the rice into the ground beef until it is well combined. Add 2 teaspoons salt, some pepper, and allspice. Mix again.
Set up a cutting board, the drained grape leaves, and the rice mixture. Lay one grape leaf flat on the cutting board. Take 1 – 2 tablespoons of the rice mixture and form it into a short log. Place at the base of the grape leaf and begin to roll it tightly, folding in the edges as you go along. Continue until all of the rice mixture is used. Set each roll on a baking sheet.
Note: You can use a piece of grape leaf to patch holes, or cut a larger grape leaf in half. All of the grape leaves should be about the same size so they cook evenly.
Place 5 chunks of the beef shoulder in the bottom of the pot with a handful of whole garlic cloves.
Begin layering the grape leaf rolls tightly around the meat. *Watch the video for details.
Once about half is added, place more meat in the middle of the pot and layer the remaining rolls along the outside. Add another handful of whole garlic cloves.
Add another layer of the beef shoulder on top with more garlic cloves.
Top with crushed garlic, dried mint, salt, and olive oil. Add water until everything is covered.
Place a plate or lid that is just smaller than the pot and weigh it down.
Cook over medium-low heat for about 2 hours, or until the meat is cooked through. The water should remain at a low simmer. Add the lemon juice about halfway through.
Once cooked, carefully drain off and save the liquid.
Place a platter on top of the pot and *with help!* carefully flip over the pot so the platter is now on the table. Pat the pot gently to loosen the sides. Carefully lift off the pot. Top with lemon slices and serve with the braising liquid for dipping.