Who doesn’t love comfort food ? And is there anything that comes close to a home cooked meal ? I love eating out and trying exotic foods, celebrating life but at the end of the day my body and soul thrive on peasant food. Simple, rustic meals full of flavor and love is what I crave for.
Nothing can take you back in time to a moment when everything was just right like a home cooked meal, in this case a big pot filled with colorful bell peppers, stuffed with pork, rice and spices then cooked slowly in broth and sweet tomatoes. Just throw a few slices of ciabatta bread on the side to help you wipe your plate clean.
I could try and describe the combination of flavors in this dish but honestly i wouldn’t do it any justice. This is something you just have to experience yourself.
Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe
(serves 8 )
- 8 med size bell peppers (red, green & yellow)
- 3/4 c rice
- 1 3/4 lb -2 lb ground pork
- 1 medium onion -diced
- 3 tbs EV olive oil
- the leaves from 5 thyme sprigs-chopped
- 1/2 c Italian flat leaf parsley-chopped
- 1 tsp sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 x28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes whole in tomato puree
- 1 1/2 qt chicken stock -seasoned to taste
- 3 bay leaves
1. Rinse the peppers and cut the tops and empty the seeds and membrane. Reserve the clean tops also. Trim them on the sides a little if necessary to fit inside the pepper and create a snug seal.
2. Crush the tomatoes with your hands and add a layer with juices to the bottom of a large enameled cast iron pan.
In a large saute pan heat up the olive oil and saute the onion with a pinch of sea salt until softened and translucent . Add the rice, stir and let cook together for about 5 min. Mix in the ground beef and break it up with a wooden spoon, add the thyme, parsley, 1 tsp sea salt, pepper and paprika and mix well together. Remove from heat.
3. Stuff each pepper with the meat and rice mixture 3/4 of the way (very important not to over stuff them). Put the tops back on just to make sure the stuffing will stay inside..
4. Arrange the peppers in the heavy bottom sauce pan on top of the tomato layer and pour in the chicken stock and the remaining crushed tomatoes making sure it covers the peppers. Add the bay leaves and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down cover the pan with a tight lid and transfer to a preheated 375 degrees oven for 45 min.
Remove from the oven and allow it to sit covered for 10 min.
Serve warm surrounded by the broth they were cooked in and drizzled with sour cream. Sprinkle some chopped parsley on top for decoration.