These Stuffed Grape Leaves known as “Sarmalute in foi de vita” in Romanian are one of my favorite Romanian recipes that work really well no matter the season.
My husband bought a jar of grape leaves, so I can take a hint and so I made some stuffed grape leaves this weekend. I must say I only made these a couple times before, but basically it’s the same as making cabbage rolls. Now again stuffed grape leaves is a traditional Romanian dish, but I know there are many other versions of stuffed grape leaves, without any meat at all. Our version has ground pork in it. I must say, these turned out excellent. This isn’t a dish where you can only eat one or two rolls, you’ll want to eat 10 or more. That’s how good they are!
So I used a jar of grape leaves for this. Now you don’t have to do this, but I boiled some water and added juice from one lemon to it then soaked all the grape leaves in the hot water for about a minute.
After a minute take the leaves out and let cool off.
Mix everything well together. This is the time to get in there with your hands and take out your frustrations. Start making the rolls, this could take some time, but it’s pretty simple, just like making cabbage rolls.
As I was making these I put them in a big pan that’s oven proof, I used my turkey pan because I needed something big. Next thing we need to make the sauce, which is basically tomato juice, white wine, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the rolls, it should cover them as it will reduce down as you bake them.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil then bake at 350 F degrees for one hour and a half. Take out of the oven and remove the aluminum foil.
Almost done, now we need to bake them again for another hour uncovered and voila!
Serve these with sour cream and some delicious bread or polenta.
If you guys love this recipe, and most importantly make it yourselves, please let us know. Take a picture and tag it #jocooks on Instagram so we can see it. I always love to see what you guys come up with!
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Stuffed Grape Leaves (Sarmalute in foi de vita)
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1/4 cup dill fresh, chopped
- 2 lbs ground pork
- 3/4 cup rice long grain
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 lb grape leaves (1 jar)
- 4 cups tomato juice
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 tsp pepper or to taste
- 1/2 cup white wine
- In a large bowl, combine the onion, dill, ground pork, rice, salt, pepper, and oil. Mix well using your clean hands.
- Add water to a big pot along with 2 tbsp of the lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add the grape leaves and soak in the boiling water for about a minute, then take them out and let cool.
- Roll the grape leaves with a tablespoon of the meat mixture in each roll. Continue until done.
- In a big bowl, add tomato juice, lemon juice from one lemon, salt and pepper, white wine and mix well.
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Place the stuffed grape leaves in a big deep pan. Pour juice over stuffed grape leaves. Cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake for one hour and a half covered, then remove aluminum foil and bake for another hour.
- Serve hot with sour cream or yogurt.