NOTE: In some areas preserved grape leaves may be found in the grocery store. Depending on the store, they might be in the canned vegetable section, the gourmet section, or the area with the pickles, pepperoncinis, and olives. If you live in a larger city they can be found in a Mediterranean or Middle Eastern type grocery.
1 8-ounce jar preserved grape leaves
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup uncooked converted rice
1 teaspoon dried mint
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup water
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch salt and pepper
Soak the preserved leaves in hot water for five minutes to remove some of the salt and to soften them.
Mix the remaining ingredients.
Take a tablespoonful of the hamburger mixture and place it in the center of a grape leaf. Roll it over and over away from you, folding in the sides as you go.
Place the rolled leaf into a large saucepan seam side down.
When the bottom of the pan is filled place another layer on top.
Continue to do this until all the leaves are filled and rolled. Cover with water.
Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Watch to make sure they do not boil dry. Add more water if needed.
Serve with crusty French or sourdough bread.