1 (16 ounce) jar grape leaves, drained and rinsed
1 cup uncooked rice
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, finely chopped
juice of 2 lemons, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
½ cup parsley, chopped
salt and pepperto taste
Drain and rinse grape leaves from jar. Layer the bottom of a large pot with some of the grape leaves.
Add a small amount of olive oil to a sauté pan. Next, add in the onion. Sauté the onion until it becomes tender then add the rice to the pan and stir continuously for about 1-2 minutes.
Remove the rice and onion mixture from the range and transfer it to a medium to large sized bowl.
Stir in the lemon juice of one lemon, parsley, dill, salt and pepper, 1/3 cup of the olive oil and, the ground beef.
Roll the dolmathes: On a work surface, place one leaf, shiny side down. Add 1 teaspoon of the rice-beef filling at the bottom (stem end). Do not overfill dolmathes, as the rice will expand during cooking. Fold bottom of leaf over filling, fold in two sides and roll tightly. Place stuffed leaves fold side down on the bottom of the pot. You want to fit stuffed leaves tightly together. Work around the pot from the outside to center.
Drizzle stuffed leaves with remaining 2/3 cup oil and remaining lemon juice. Place an inverted plate on top of rolled leaves to hold them down while they are cooking. Pour just enough water into pot to cover them. Place lid on pot and simmer over medium- high heat until all the water is absorbed, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Serve at room temperature or warm.