Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Mihshi Waraq Inab

Don't know what Mihshi Waraq Inab is?  It is the Lebanese version of dolma stuffed with meat, rice, spices, and more.  One of my best friends is a quarter Lebanese and has a family recipe for Mihshi Waraq Inab that comes from further back than her great great grandmother.  Last Saturday we decided to triple this recipe and freeze a bunch so that we can have it whenever, since it is labor intensive it is smart to make it in large batches.  As you may recall we had made plans to make  Mihshi Waraq Inab back in November but ran into an issue when we discovered barely any stores carry grape leaves anymore, luckily we found grape leaves at Whole Foods.  During this process I also managed to cut off the tip of my poor thumb while cutting onions, and yes it was a brand new very sharp knife...always seems to happen to me.  Now since this recipe is generations old and very authentic it is in fact a secret family recipe that I can't share with you all, but I did find a similar recipe found at this link (also written below) that you are more than welcome to make, enjoy!  Below are pictures from our wonderful rainy day full of cooking.

Grape (or Vine) Leaves Stuffed with Ground Beef (Wara’ Enab bel Lahma el Mafrooma)

Prep Time: 30 minutes to prepare the filling and an hour to roll the leaves
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
Serves: 60-80 leaves, which feeds about 10 people

The Ingredients

one 1-lb jar of brine-preserved grape (vine) leaves (I bought the brand “Peloponnese” from Whole Foods because it doesn’t contain any artificial preservatives, but you can also use wild hand-picked fresh leaves – check this post on MidEats for info on how to find them)

2 cups short-grain white rice (sushi rice is a great substitute because it has similar properties to Egyptian rice – short, thick and gets a bit sticky when it’s cooked).

1 lb grass-fed, organic ground beef

2-3 cups homemade chicken or beef stock (you may use water if you’re out of stock, but the taste won’t be nearly as rich)

2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped or pureed in the food processor

3 tablespoons grass-fed organic ghee
juice of half a lemon
unrefined sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

2-3 bay leaves, sliced garlic (2-3 cloves), onion slices and lemon slices to cover the bottom of the pot before stacking the stuffed grape leaves

The Process

1.  This link will show you how to roll the grape leaves

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