Saturday, 8 September 2007

Peppers Stuffed with Lamb

You can use whatever large mild peppers you like for this dish. Bell peppers are the easiest to find, and you can use them all year long as they are available greenhouse-grown. However, they give me vile indigestion, so I make these with Cubanelle peppers, or with Red Shepherd peppers as seen in the photograph.

I blew it when I made these, and mixed the meat with all of the cooked wild rice and barley, which did work out okay, although I think I prefer it as described in the recipe.

4 servings
1 1/2 hours - 30 minutes prep time

Red peppers stuffed with lamb, wild rice and barley1/2 cup raw barley
1/3 cup raw wild rice
1/4 teaspoon salt

4 medium sized mild peppers

450 grams (1 pound) ground lamb, or beef
1 medium onion
2 stalks of celery

1 teaspoon dried mint
1 teaspoon dried dillweed
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 of a 540 ml (19 ounce) tin of tomato sauce
OR about 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce

Put the barley, wild rice and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a rice cooker with 2 3/4 cups of water. Turn on and let cook.

Core the peppers, and remove all seeds. Cook them in a lightly oiled skillet for a few minutes on each side, until slightly softened and browned in spots. Set them aside, and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Peel and chop the onion finely. Wash, trim and chop the celery. Sauté the onion and celery with 1/2 of the meat, until the vegetables are softened and the meat is no longer pink. If you are using lamb, you are not likely to need to add any oil to the pan, but if you are using grass-fed beef a little bit may be required.

Mix the cooked meat and vegetables with 1 cup of the cooked wild rice and barley mixture. Mix in the remaining raw meat and the seasonings. If it is very stiff, mix in a little of the tomato sauce. Use this mixture to stuff the peppers.

Lightly oil a casserole dish (I use a small lasagne pan) and arrange the remaining wild rice and barley evenly over the bottom of it. Put the stuffed peppers on top. If you have more stuffing than will go into the peppers, make meatballs and place them over the wild rice and barley. Cover the peppers and wild rice and barley with a thin layer of tomato sauce.

Cover the casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the dish and bake for 20 minutes more.

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