While visiting friends Demetris and Marina in their mountain house at Kyperounta, Demetris had a surprise for us. A whole bunch of grape leaves cut from his own grape vines.
This meant that within the next few days I would make stuffed grape leaves, Koupepia, with a slight variation from my original recipe of Koupepia-Dolma. The most noticeable of the differences is the addition of tomatoes only in the meat mixture/filling and not over the Koupepia, and in this case canned cubed tomatoes. You give it and try and let me know.
Thank you Demetris and Marina!
I hope you enjoy it!
|Prep Time||1 Hour|
|Cook Time||1 Hour|
- 800 gr Pork , double minced
- 200 gr Long Grain Rice
- 50 Grape Leaves
- 1 Yellow Onion , finely chopped
- 400 gr Tomatoes , cubed in a can
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste , diluted in 100 ml water
- 80 ml EVOO , Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 tablespoons Lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons dry Mint , ground
- ½ teaspoon All-Spice , ground
- 1 teaspoon Dry Oregano , ground
- ½ cup fresh Parsley , leaves picked and finely chopped
- ¼ cup fresh Mint , leaves picked and finely chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoons Sea Salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
- Place a medium pot into high fire and bring to a boil. Remove from the fire and add in batches the grape leaves and cook for about 30 seconds to soften. Drain and repeat for the rest of the grape leaves. Keep aside.
- In the meantime, place in a large bowl the minced meat, rice, onions, dry and fresh mint, parsley, oregano, 30 ml olive oil, all-spice, salt, and pepper. Pour the cubed tomatoes and the diluted tomato paste and mix.
- Open one by one the grape leaves with the non-shiny side facing upwards making sure that the stem is cut and removed. Take a tablespoon full of the meat mixture and place it in the widest part of the leaf. Tuck in the side ends of the leave and roll tightly.
- Each of the rolled leaves is placed in a non-stick casserole where we have added few grape leaves at the bottom to ensure that the koupepia don’t stick at the bottom. Each koupepi is snugly placed next to each other creating a circle of koupepia with the end of the leaf facing the bottom of the casserole.
- Pour on them water, the rest of the 50 ml oil and the lemon juice, making sure that the koupepia are submerged. Place a plate on top of them to make sure that they stay submerged and keep their shape.
- Cover the casserole and place on low heat to simmer for 45 minutes.