Beef Grilled in Grape Leaves

This is one course in a "beef seven ways" dinner. It is traditionally made with the leaves of lốt, an herb common in Vietnam. Grape leaves are the best substitute.

Beef Grilled in Grape Leaves
This is one course in a "beef seven ways" dinner.
Yield: serves 6

Ingredients

  • 12 lb. ground beef
  • 1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 fresh hot red chile (Thai or serrano), thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 Tbsp. minced inner stalks lemongrass
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Vietnamese fish sauce (nýớc mắm)
  • 18 large grape leaves
  • Vegetable oil
  • Nýớc chấm

Instructions

  1. Mix together beef, shallots, chile, garlic, lemongrass, sugar, and fish sauce in a medium bowl. If using wood skewers, place skewers in a pan of water and soak for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile rinse grape leaves, pat dry, and trim into 3'' x 6'' rectangles. Place about 1 tbsp. beef mixture in the center of each leaf and roll into a tight cylinder.
  3. Preheat a gas grill or place a stove-top grill pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Secure rolls crosswise on skewers, brush lightly with vegetable oil, and grill, turning once, until lightly charred, about 2 minutes per side. Serve with nýớc chấm.