“Koupepia ” - Stuffed vine leaves
For koupepia you will need fresh (or frozen) vine leaves that you will put in warm water to get soften. The color of the leaves will get darker but don’t worry, drain well.
For koupepia you need:
- 300gr. Vine leaves
- 1 kg minced pork
- 1 cup rice, rinsed
- 2 onions finely chopped
- 7-8 ripe tomatoes
- 3-4 tbsp parsley finely chopped
- 2-3 tbsp dried mint
- ½ cup olive oil
- salt, pepper
- 1 cube vegetable stock (optional)
- 3 lemons juiced
- Prepare the leaves as mentioned above.
- Mix all the ingredients. Place one or two teaspoons of filling on each vine leaf near the stem. Fold the sides of the leaf inwards and roll up into a cylindrical shape.
- Place rolled koupepia one next to the other in a deep pan. Add the lemon juice, sprinkle with some olive oil and add the vegetable stock dissolved in one cup of water.
- You can cook koupepia on the stove. Cover them with a plate big enough to hold them in place and keep their shape when boiling. Add water to the level of the plate. Cook for about 40 minutes.
- You can also cook koupepia in the oven (as I did today). Cover them with any vine leaves that were left, add water, olive oil and lemon juice as mentioned above. Cover with foil paper and cook for about 40 minutes.
- Let them rest for at least 10 minutes before serving so all the flavors and juices will mix together.
- Serve them as main dish with village salad and yogurt, or a side dish or even as finger food (they are lovely even when they are cold).
Note: In some areas of Cyprus they lightly cook the mixture of minced meat before filling the leaves, but I prefer to do it this way, it’s more simple and quite tasty!