MY BEST STUFFED PEPPERS WITH BEEF, PORK AND RICE

Recipe courtesy of The Bear Cupboard (http://bearcupboard.blogspot.com)

Rating:  10 out of 10


INGREDIENTS:

6 large green bell peppers, tops, membranes and seeds removed

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup finely chopped sweet onions + 1/3 cup coarsely chopped for broth

1/3 cup finely chopped green peppers from tops + 1/3 cup coarsely chopped for broth

1-3/4 tsp. Morton kosher salt, divided

1 Tbsp. grated or minced fresh garlic

8 oz. lean ground pork

1 lb. lean ground beef

3/4 tsp. black pepper

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

scant 1 cup cooked and cooled Jasmine rice (rinse raw rice in warm water before cooking)

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

2 (8 oz. cans) tomato sauce, divided

1 (14.5 oz.) can low-sodium beef broth

Enough tomato juice to almost cover peppers


Rinse peppers and place, upside down, on paper towels.  Finely chop enough of the tops to equal 1/3 cup; set aside.


In large saute pan, using medium-high heat, cook oil, onions, peppers and 1/4 tsp. salt till softened, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring constantly to keep garlic from burning.  (If desired, add the ground meats here and precook to be sure the pork is well done.)  Set aside to cool completely, about 1/2 to 1 hour.  When thoroughly cool, add pork and beef if you have not precooked them already.  Sprinkle remaining 1-1/2 tsp. salt and both peppers over the meat.  Lightly but thoroughly mix meat with onion mixture.  Add cooked rice, parsley and 1 (8 oz.) can + 3 Tbsp. tomato sauce, combining lightly but thoroughly.  Stuff mixture into peppers, dividing equally.  (I make balls of filling and weigh them on my kitchen scale to get the same weight for each pepper.)


In large soup pot or dutch oven, combine remainder of tomato sauce and beef broth.  Add peppers and enough tomato juice to almost cover them.  Sprinkle with coarsely chopped onions and peppers.  Heat to boiling on high heat, then cover pot and reduce heat to simmer.  Simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, till pepper is cooked through and soft but not mushy (if using raw meats, cook till a meat thermometer registers 160F when placed in center of filling).  Serve peppers in soup bowls with broth ladled over and around peppers.  Yield:  6 servings


TIP:  To reheat, slice peppers in half vertically.  Spoon some broth into a saute pan or fry pan.  Lay peppers, filling side down, onto broth.  Spoon more broth over, as desired.  Cover, heat on medium heat, adjusting to a simmer if mixture boils.  Cook about 10 minutes, or till peppers are hot all the way through.  To freeze, place peppers filling side up in container.  Spoon broth over and around pepper.  Cover; freeze.  Thaw overnight in fridge and reheat as mentioned above.