Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers are a fantastic mix of meat and veg, and sure to warm you up on a cold March night. I made these last weekend for the family when my local Aldi – thank you Germans for bringing your stores to Hungary with your fresh, year-round produce. I can’t remember the last time I had to shop at the ‘state*’ food store for fruits and vegetables — had a great price for red peppers. I’m not really sure why they call them California peppers here but they certainly are the best for stuffing and cooking. Here is my take on the classic Hungo-slavic dish.

 

Ingredients

  • 6-8 red bell peppers
  • 600g minced pork, or pork and beef, or all beef
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 200g uncooked rice
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 25g cumin seeds
  • 200g raisins or chopped prunes, divided into two
  • 20g salt
  • 20g paprika (smoked if you can get it)
  • 10g garlic powder
  • 10g onion powder
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 5g cayenne pepper
  • 10g cinnamon
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 (330g) can crushed tomato
  • 2 medium carrots. Cleaned, shredded and divided into two
  • 800ml chicken stock. Not too salty
  • Toothpicks
  • Sour cream

Directions

  • Cook rice. Some recipes say to cook rice halfway but this has never worked for me so I always cook 100%. Allow to cool.
  • In a frying pan, saute onion for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add garlic and saute another 2-3 minutes until soft and fragrant.
  • Mix your liquids together. Add chicken stock, can of crushed tomato, half of the carrots, half of the raisins, give it a good stir.
  • In a mixing bowl add meat, cooked rice, tomato paste, sauteed onions and garlic, cumin seeds, salt, paprika (the spice not fresh pepper), beaten egg, remaining carrots and raisins, cinnamon, cayenne, garlic and onion powder. Mix all with hands until even.
  • Just below the stem line cut across and then core the pepper. Cut away the green stem with a sharp knife.
  • Gently stuff the pepper (you’re not packing a cannon) so the rice has room to expand. Return top of the pepper and secure the top and bottom with toothpicks; two or three should do.
  • Place standing up in a large pot, or if you are me you might need two. Cover with liquid mix from point 3 until it comes at least ⅔ up the pepper. I like pouring over the hole where the stem was from the pepper so some liquid gets in there. Cover and bring to a simmer for 45 minutes or so, basting occasionally. If you want to speed the process, cook in a pressure cooker for 15 minutes at pressure then allow for a slow release of pressure.
  • Serve with sour cream

Enjoy!

*CBA