Make dolmathes like the Greek Festival does

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  • 16 ounce (454g) jar grape leaves*
  • 1 pound ground beef, 85-90% lean
  • ½ cup rice
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped (makes about 1 ½ cups)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, you can reduce if using meat that has more fat (more than 15%)
  • 1 teaspoon dill or mint
  • 6 cups chicken broth, or enough to cover the dolmathes
  • Avgolemono Sauce
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 lemons, juiced (you can start here, taste, and add more as needed)


  1. Put a pot that is large enough to hold the grape leaves over high heat. Add enough water to cover the leaves and bring to a boil. Add grape leaves and blanch for 5 minutes, drain and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine: ground beef, rice, sea salt, pepper, onion, olive oil, and dill, mix well.
  3. Take a knife and cut off the stem of each grape leaf.
  4. Place about 1 tablespoon of the meat mixture at the bottom of each leaf (ribs up) and fold over the sides of the leaf to cover the mixture. Then roll upwards. Place into a deep pot in layers (should have about 2 layers depending on the size of your pot).
  5. Once all dolmathes are done, cover the tops of them with any broken grape leaves (if you have them).
  6. Add the chicken broth, cover dolmathes with a small plate or lid to keep them down and together. Turn heat to medium.
  7. Bring to simmer, cook on low for about 15-20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked.
  8. Once cooked, prepare the avgolemono sauce.
  9. Beat eggs in a bowl for 5 minutes.
  10. Add lemon juice to the egg mixture and while still beating slowly pour in 1 cup of hot broth from the dolmathes pot into bowl with the eggs – this tempers them so they won’t curdle.
  11. Now, pour egg mixture into pot with dolmathes and slowly mix everything together. Add salt and pepper if desired.
  12. Bring to simmer, cover, and remove from heat.
  13. Place a few dolmathes on a plate, pour some avgolemono sauce over them, and serve with lemon wedges!

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