One more recipe that I can say with the confidence I know how to make blindfolded. Stuffed peppers are one of those meals that it doesn’t take too much of your time, meaning once it’s done with prep, you just let it simmer. The incredible taste and comfort that you get out of this absolutely amazing. I was mentioning in this post, how many dishes from when the Ottoman Empire was ruling left its trace in the cuisine of Southeast Europe, and the Balkan Peninsula.
I am one of those people or you can call me a nerd, that look deep into the history of the recipes. Actually, I did grew up with these kinds of dishes, but when you start researching, connect dots, finding the root, it is just mind-blowing what you can find.
Some would refer stuffed peppers or any vegetable that is stuffed as a “dolma”, and I do call it that way too. Not only that I love stuffed peppers but also sarma (rolled stuffed cabbage leaves), yaprak (stuffed grape leaves /or Collard greens) etc.
You can pretty much stuff them with ground lamb, pork, chicken and most common is with a beef and rice. Unique taste and aroma that particularly beef gives to me are simply irreplaceable, however, there are of course options like I said that you can change it and use any ground/minced protein that you and your family prefer.
I am a complete sucker for dishes that slow cook on a stove in the fall or winter time. It’s one of the things that I am actually looking forward to. You can hear boiling bubbles in the pot, aroma wrapping your whole house and you can’t wait to dig in and mop the floor of your plate with freshly baked bread. Dishes like that are making me happy, extremely happy and I hope it will do the same for you.
Stuffed Peppers with Ground Beef and Rice
- 1 tbsp. Oil
- 5-6 Peppers Any on hand /read notes
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 1/4 onion shredded
- 3 garlic cloves minced /or 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 cup rice
- 1/3 tbsp. Ground black pepper
- Meat seasoning to taste or salt
- 2 cups Beef Broth
- 2-3 cups water
- 8 fl oz tomato sauce
- 1 bouillon cube
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 dry bay Leaf
- Seasoning/or salt to taste
- Potatoes quartered
- Carrots sliced
- 1 tbsp. Flour/or cornstarch
- 2 tbsp. Tomato sauce
- splash of water
- Wash peppers and push the top of the peppers inside(pressure), then pull the core out and clean out leftover seeds. If you are using small sweet peppers, it's easier to just cut the top off. Set aside.
- Mix meat mixture; add ground beef, onion, garlic, seasoning and mix to combine. Add rice and knead/mix again.
- Prepare large pot. Stuff each pepper with the meat, if any leftover meat just makes small meatballs and fill the gaps in between, and lay each stuffed pepper in the large already greased pot.
- Mix together beef broth, and water, then pour in the pot over the peppers. add bouillon cube, tomato sauce, and season to taste.
- Add potatoes and carrots in between and on top. Place bay leaf and turn the heat on high until it boils. Once it boils turn the heat on simmer/low, cover with a fitted lid and let it simmer for at least 45 minutes, preferably 50. Check if you need to add more water because the liquid will reduce.
- Once it's cooked, just mix quick roux- flour, warm water, and tomato sauce. Mix until smooth. Then add smooth roux in the pot. Push down the peppers to slightly mix it, or you can shake the pot too to mix the roux with the sauce. It will become a thickener.
Bell peppers here are pretty huge, so I usually use 4-5 bell peppers and fill gaps with sweet (small) peppers. I actually like small ones because they are tender and cook faster, although you can use any color or size. If you find smaller bell peppers then use more peppers. Stuff peppers are very good the next day or the day after. I place them in the airtight container with fitted lid. You can keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days, just reheat and heat.