Saturday, August 11, 2012

Meat-Stuffed Bell Peppers

Normally, I don't buy veal or order it in a restaurant on principle.  There was a sorry package of ground veal in the clearance section marked 75% off.  I could spend the $1.50 for a pound of veal or know it went into the trash.  It went into my freezer instead.

The beauty of this recipe is that it works with absolutely any kind of ground meat.  I would hesitate to use it on fish, but the only difference in land animals would be the unique flavor each kind brought to the dish.

*1/4 C minced onion
1 clove garlic
1 lb ground meat
1 Tb olive oil
*1/4 C tomato paste
*1/4 C dry bulgur, medium grind (or 3/4 C cooked brown rice or quinoa)
*4 bell peppers (I bought 2 green and 2 red, to see which taste I preferred.  Green stand up in the pan better.)
1/4 tsp salt
*1/2 tsp oregano or "Italian Seasoning"

1.  Stir together bulgur and 1/2 C warm water in a bowl and set aside.  Cut tops off of peppers and carefully pull out the ribs and seeds, keeping the body of the pepper intact.  Lightly oil an 8" square baking dish and set hollowed-out peppers in it.

2.  In a medium skillet, brown onions, meat, and garlic together.  Drain off most of the fat.  Add tomato paste and seasonings.  When meat is cooked, remove from heat and stir in softened bulgur, including any water that has not been absorbed.  If mixture seems too dry, add water a tablespoon at a time.

3.  Preheat oven to 350º.  Carefully spoon meat mixture into peppers.  If you try to pack it in, the peppers will crack.

4.  Bake peppers for 30 minutes, until softened, but hold their shape.  Serve with spaghetti sauce if desired.

Difficulty rating π

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