Jessica emailed me a few weeks ago and asked if I had a crockpot dolmas recipe. I didn't, but I do now! These are super easy, fun to make, and even more fun to eat. I was floored at how many my kids ate---they really liked them a lot.
1 jar grape leaves (8oz of leaves, in juice, near the pickles)
1/2 pound ground lamb
1/2 pound ground turkey breast
1 cup cooked white rice
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp dill
I used a 6 quart crockpot, anything 4 quarts and up would work just fine. I got this recipe after putting a few together from this website according to the flavors I thought my family would enjoy, and from how I remember dolmas to taste. I really think there's no wrong or right way to do these, it's like meatloaf--everyone has their own version.
In a mixing bowl, combine the ground meat, rice, egg, spices, and juice from one lemon. Mix well with your hands to combine.
Drain and rinse the grape leaves.
Put a small amount of meat mixture into each grape leave, and roll to form a little packet. I'm pretty sure the vein-y part of the leaf is supposed to be inside, with the shiny side facing out. I didn't do this at first, but they do roll better if done that way. Place the wrapped packet into your crockpot. Repeat, until you run out of filling or leaves. It's okay to stagger-stack the dolmas in the crockpot.
I was able to make 24 before I ran out of filling. My crockpot could easily have handled another 24.
Squeeze the juice from the other lemon over the top of the dolmas. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours, or until the meat is fully cooked. Mine were done right at 2 hours.
These are so fun! We ate them as a meal, with leftover winter root vegetables. The kids liked them a lot, but one of them unrolled the leaf and just ate the filling, which was totally fine with me. I'm looking forward to making them again to serve to company.