We were inspired by a NYTimes recipe and our huge CSA share of collards…and a small craving for meat =)
We used a pound of grass-fed beef instead of lamb and substituted kasha for the bulgur. I also added egg (~1.5) to the mixture, first half an egg that was left after cooking the kasha, and then another egg when the meatballs seemed to not stick together too well. I found that if I turned the heat down and cooked the meatballs for much longer than suggested, they held together much better, but unfortunately that added quite a bit of time to the recipe. It wasn’t a huge problem for the stuffed collard leaves, thought having them preset in meatball form did make the rolling easier for the smaller collard leaves. I also really liked the proportions of meat to greens with the wrapped meatballs that I might use enough collards to wrap all of them next time.
We added white rice and sauce to go with the meatballs and stuffed collards. Avgolemono (Egg-Lemon) Sauce is apparently common to have with stuffed grape leaves, so we pulled some together based off of a recipe we found online. We did it right in the meatball pan and used flour to thicken instead of cornstarch and it came out rich and delicious.