homemade chicken or beef stock (or water for weaker taste)
med yellow onions (pureed in food processor or mined very fine
fresh ground salt and pepper
Open the jar of grape leaves, unroll the bunch of leaves, and thoroughly rinse under running water. Place on a strainer to drain.
For the filling: In a bowl, add 2 cups of uncooked rice, 1 lb. of ground beef, 2 thinly-diced or pureed onions, 3 tablespoons of clarified butter, salt and pepper, and mix well using a large fork to make sure all ingredients are well integrated.
On a large plate or cutting board, take one grape leaf and place on it about 1 teaspoon of the filling. Shape the filling into a cylinder and fold the bottom two sides of the grape leaves. Fold the right and left sides of the grape leave towards the middle, overlapping one side over the other and pulling in a bit to make sure it’s tightly folded in. Start rolling the grape leaf upward tightly to close it.
When you have stuffed and wrapped all the grape leaves, pile them in a circle in the pot on top of the sliced onion and lemon.
Pour 2-3 cups of homemade chicken or meat broth to cover at least three-fourth of the pile of grape leaves in the pot. You can also mix the chicken/meat broth with water in whatever proportion to dilute for a lighter version of the dish, and add 2-3 cups of the diluted mix.
Cover the grape leaves with a heat-proof dish that fits into the pot to keep the leaves from unraveling while cooking. Leave on medium-high heat for a few minutes until the broth starts to boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and cook for about 35-40 minutes until the meat and rice are fully cooked.