Beef, Orzo & Grape Leaf Pie
- 16 jarred large grape leaves, drained and de-stemmed
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large leek, white and pale-green parts only, diced
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely diced
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3/4 cup cooked orzo
- 1 tablespoon capers, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
- Zest of a medium orange
- Juice of 1/2 orange
- 3/4 pound lean ground beef
- 1 egg
- 1 cup feta, crumbled
- 3 tablespoons hot water
- 1 tablespoon sliced jalapeño
Adapted from online.wsj.com
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bring a medium-size pot of salted water to a boil. Add grape leaves and blanch 1 minute. Drain leaves and let cool on a paper-towel-lined plate.
Set a large sauté pan over medium heat and swirl in 2 teaspoons oil. Once hot, add leeks, carrots, garlic and tomato paste and sauté until vegetables soften and leeks turn translucent, 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium-size bowl, mix orzo with capers, cumin, oregano and orange zest and juice. Mix in ground beef, egg and sautéed vegetables until well combined. Season with pinch of salt.
Slick a shallow 9-inch baking dish with 1 teaspoon oil. Line bottom of dish with leaves so they cover bottom and hang over sides of dish. Fill dish with 1-1½ inches of stuffing. Fold leaves over and seal gaps with remaining leaves to completely enclose filling. Press down on pie, packing it into the dish, and bake until leaves are well crisped and meat is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
Just before pie is ready, make sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk feta, remaining oil, hot water and jalapeño together until cheese melts, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat. Serve pie with warm feta sauce alongside or spooned over top.
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