The end of summer meal you've been looking for!
Stuffed peppers is the perfect meal for the end-of-season bell pepper harvest. But even if you don't have your own garden, pepper season still means it's time to get yourself some fresh, colorful peppers and get to work!
Like stuffed cabbage, these peppers are full of meat, rice, onions, and other goodness, simmered low and slow in a savory tomato sauce. I used Špela Vodovc's Cook Eat Slovenia book for my initial recipe, but I doctored it quite a bit to bring it closer to my aunt Teja's authentic Slovenian stuffed peppers (or polnjene paprike). They're a recipe that seems hard at first, given the cook time, but here's a secret about long-cooking dishes:
You literally don't have to do anything while it's cooking.
So if four hours of simmering makes this meal seem intimidating, just remember that it's actually 4 hours of going about your day and maybe checking the pot on occasion to make sure nothing burns. That's it! Start it earlier in the day, forget about it while you do anything else, and have it ready just in time for dinner—that's the old fashioned way.
And with carrot, pepper, marjoram, and mustard, not only is it the season for feelings of passion, fertility, energy, love, and happiness, but it's also the dish for it!
Magic in Stuffed Peppers
That's right: this dish, while so hearty, isn't super heavy; those peppers invite energy and passion into the dish, while carrot and mustard invoke fertility, protection, and mental fortitude, and marjoram invites healing and love. That's a meal that'll let you hold the feelings of summer just a little longer as we come into the colder months again!
With the elements of air and fire, as well as the planets Mars and Mercury, this dish has a duality that contrasts protectiveness and passion with intellect and expression, all while boosting your creative and communicative skill. Hone your mental sharpness and put a spring in your step with ingredients that call on you to be your energetic, jubilant, and creative self!
NOTE: If you don't have marjoram, oregano is a fine substitute flavor and magic wise, with a ruling planet of Venus.
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 4 hours
Makes 4-6 Servings
6-8 bell peppers
2lbs ground beef
1 cup white rice
1 onion, diced fine
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 Tbsp marjoram (or oregano if no marjoram)
2 tsp mustard
salt, pepper to taste
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 cans tomato paste
3 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups beef broth
2 Tbsp marjoram/oregano
1 1/2 Tbsp mustard
2 bay leaves
1/2 Tbsp sugar and brown sugar
salt & pepper to taste
Boil your rice for 5-8 minutes until halfway cooked.
Chop one onion and fry until golden brown, then add garlic and fry until fragrant.
Add tomato paste and toast, then flour and mix.
Add oregano, mustard, bay leaves, carrot, sugar, and beef stock.
Simmer on low until peppers are prepared, stirring occasionally.
Mix meat, egg, rice, seasonings, onion, and garlic until well combined
Cut the top out of the peppers and empty them of seeds.
Stuff the peppers with the mixture.
Nestle peppers into the pot of sauce, then simmer on low for 4 hours. (If sauce is too thick, add a little water.)
Serve with fresh bread or mashed potatoes.
We love a good stuffed pepper in this house, and with how fun they are to make, you can, too! Better yet, with spooky season on the way, get yourself orange peppers and carve little jack-o-lantern faces into the side. I tried that once, and it was so cute.