Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Koupepia (grape leaves stuffed with minced meat and rice)

Ingredients
500 gr preserved vine leaves or 80 fresh leaves
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 tablespoon olive oil
500 g finely ground pork
300 g finely ground veal
3/4 cup rice
4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 teaspoons finely chopped mint
salt to taste
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons cinamon
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 cups light chicken stock
1 cup tomato juice


Preparation Method
Rinse vine leaves (whether fresh or preserved) in cold water and put them in boiling water for 4 minutes in 4 or 5 lots. Remove to a bowl of cold water with spoon, then into a colander to drain. Gently fry onion in oil until soft and then mix pork and veal until become lightly brown. Then put salt, pepper, cinamon the tomatoe juice until well combined. 5 to 8 minutes later put the chopped mint and the chopped parsley.Place a vine leaf, shiny side down, on a work surface and cut any remaining stem. Place about a tablespoon of mixture near stem end, fold end and sides over stuffing and roll firmly. Line base of a pan with one layer of leaves (use damaged ones) and pack koupepia close together in layers. Cover top of rolls with remaining grape vine leaves. Add the lemon and chicken stock to pan. Cover koupepia with a plate and then cover the pan with lid. Place over medium heat. Bring to a slow simmer, then simmer gently over a low heat for 1 1/2 hours or until there is no more stock left in the pan.
This is a part of meze as well but when it’s cooked at home you can serve it with Greek salad or roasted meat.
In Cyprus it is also a traditional food for weddings.

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