Stuffed Onion Leaves

This dish takes some of time for preparation, but it is not complicated, and the results are spectacular.

4 or 5 very large yellow onions
Place the whole unpeeled onions (the larger the better) in a pot, and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil; then turn down to a simmer. Cover, and simmer the onions for 20 minutes. Remove, drain, and cool the onions so that you can handle them.

2 cups long-grain rice, soaked in water for 2 hour, then drained

1 pound ground lean lamb or beef (I used a half and half mixture)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground allspice
Fresh-ground pepper and salt to taste
3 ripe tomatoes, diced
Olive oil
3 cups beef stock

Mix together the lamb and beef. Add the cinnamon, cumin, coriander, allspice, pepper, salt, and rice. Mix well, and then add the tomatoes. Gently mix again, being careful not to squeeze the juice out of the tomatoes.

For an interesting variation you might also add some dried dill weed and some cardamom to the filling. This would make the dish very Moroccan.

Cut the top and the bottom from the cooked unpeeled onions.

Slice into the onion by making a cut down the side of the onion that goes to the center of the onion. Remove the outer skin, and then, very carefully, remove the large outer leaves of the onion.
(Save the center of the onion, the core, for some other dish.)

You will get about five or six leaves from each large onion.

Place a bit of the filling in the middle of each onion leaf, and roll it up like a sausage. The skins will practically roll themselves, so let the onion do the work.

When all are rolled, select a large frying pan with a tight ­fitting lid (a heavy kettle will do also; you need something large enough to hold all the onion rolls in one layer).

When the pan is hot, add a bit of olive oil and then the stuffed onions, all in one layer.

Cook for a few minutes on medium heat until they begin barely to brown on the bottom. Add the beef stock, and cover.

Simmer for 40 minutes, and serve.

Stuffed Onion Leaves


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