When the weather is cold I crave certain dishes, ones that are warm, savory, and healthy! Now that I’m in the U.K. and no longer fighting the heat and humidity of the Caribbean, I can finally make cold weather dishes. This stuffed pepper recipe was taught to me a few years ago by my soon to be and extremely beautiful Moldavian Mother in Law, and has been in her family for generations. You should see her cook, she is so fast especially when it comes to cutting an opening for stuffed peppers, I don’t know how she does it, but it takes me a good while with the knife. So I’m just excited to be able to finally cook this traditional Eastern European dish, and I always think of her when I make them.
This is a dish my Fiancé loves and grew up with, and I’m hoping that one day I’ll be able to duplicate all my Mom-In-Laws recipes, so I’ll be able to pass them down to future generations. It’s easy to fall in love with this dish for the ingredients are so simple, and filling. This recipe is easy, and a great dinner idea as you don’t need to pre-cook any of the ingredients, just a bit of chopping is involved and mixing. My mother in law usually makes these with a big pot, But I don’t have a large enough pot, so I’ve adapted this recipe for slow cooker use.
- Peppers: a mixture of Red, Orange, Yellow. ( My MIL loves to use Hungarian sweet peppers also, but those aren’t easy to come by/ I think they are seasonal depending on where you live- she also stays away from the use of green peppers because they are too bitter for this dish)
- 2-3 Medium Carrots (grated)
- 1 Medium Onion
- 1 pack of ground beef, or as they call it in the U.K. minced beef
- 1 – 1 ½ cups of rice
- 2 Jars of tomato sauce (any type that you like, currently I’m using a brand by someone called Loyd Grossman )
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Unsalted butter (2-tbsp)
- Dried Parsley flakes 2 Tsp
- Optional (Mayonnaise and or/ Sour cream, Eastern European dishes go well with both!)
1). Making the pepper suitable for being filled!
Just cut a big enough hole in the top of the pepper where it’s “natural handle is” that will allow you to put in your filling, remove the seeds and voila! simple
For the filling start by mincing your onion, grating your carrots, and cleaning your rice. Once you’ve done that throw these ingredients into a mixing bowl, then add parsley flakes, salt and pepper, the ground beef, and 1 jar of tomato sauce. Mix well, you can do this with a mixer, or by hand.
3). Stuff your peppers!
Now comes the fun part of stuffing your peppers! Once you’ve made sure you’ve evenly mixed the peppers filling, you can begin to fill each pepper.
4). Cooking the peppers
Gently lower the filled peppers into the slow cooker, fitting in as many as you can, and then adding the 2nd jar of tomato sauce into the slow cooker, the butter, and adding water until the peppers are covered 3/4th of the way in a water/ tomato sauce bath. Sometimes I even like to take a spoon and throw on some of the liquid from in the slow cooker onto the top of the peppers, as if to baste them.
5). The peppers are ready once they have become tender, and the rice looks fluffy.( *The rice naturally absorbs the moisture and cooks along with the rest of the ingredients*)
6). If you do have an excess of the meat mixture you can freeze and store it for later recipes, just make sure to thaw it in the correct way and cook as soon as possible. This is a great way to save time on future stuffed pepper dishes too!
There you go, a simple winter recipe! You can also serve the peppers with Mayonnaise or Sour cream, I prefer Mayonnaise it just compliments the dish so well, I hope you’ll try this recipe for yourselves, it’s delicious. You can also adapt the dish to be more low sodium friendly too. Happy & healthy eating, Udachi !!!
M & Bear