I love this time of year! The temperatures are slowly dropping towards something more reasonable and the markets are filled with an abundance of fresh produce.
Red bell peppers were on sale this week. These tasty sweet vegetables make perfect containers for a savory beef filling. This recipe can easily be doubled and the cooked stuffed peppers freeze really well.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup raw long grain rice
3/4 cup beef broth
1 tbsp double concentrated tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp fennel seeds
3/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
a few pinches of cayenne pepper
1 3/4 lbs extra lean ground sirloin
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 plum tomato, diced
8 red bell peppers
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot with a tight fitting lid. Add the onion and saute until translucent. Stir in the garlic, rice and HALF (3/4 cup) of the beef broth. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with lid. Cook for 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and remove the lid. Give everything a good stir, then cover again and allow to cool.
Place the onion and rice mixture into a large bowl.
Wipe out the pot. Pour the remaining 3/4 cup beef broth into the pot and set aside.
Add the salt, fennel, pepper, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, allspice and cayenne to the onion and rice mixture and stir until everything is well combined. Add the ground sirloin, parsley and diced tomato. Combine until everything is evenly mixed. Set aside.
Wash the bell peppers. Cut off the tops and set aside. Remove the pith and seeds. Rinse the insides. Stuff each bell pepper with the meat mixture, cover with its top and place into the pot standing upright.
Cover the pot and place over a low flame. Cook for about 1 1/2 -2 hours. When the filling is cooked through, remove the lid. If a lot of liquid has accumulated, increase the heat and simmer briskly until it's reduced.