I sorted out my image posting problems, thanks to the kind people who replied to my pleas! Once again, thanks, people! Here is a post, long overdue, that I prepared ages ago, but I’m posting it only now.
Stuffed vegetables are hugely popular in my part of the world: courgette, aubergine, sometimes tomatoes, but above all – peppers (punjene paprike in Croatian). Basically, uncooked peppers are stuffed with a mixture of beef (and sometimes pork) and uncooked rice. The peppers are then placed in a big pan, and covered with very smooth tomato sauce, to simmer until done. Every cook has his or her own variant of the recipe, adding a bit of this, and a bit of that, too add their own personal touch. This is how my mum makes stuffed peppers (punjene paprike).
Stuffed peppers were my favourite dish when I was growing up. I used to break the pepper in half, scoop out the meat, eat it, and leave the pepper ‘skin’ on my plate! Nowadays I know better, and eat the pepper, too! I love the combination of meat, pepper and tomato sauce. I love to dip bread in the sauce, or a piece of potato. This makes me smile already! Gosh, I had this this a few days ago, and I’m craving it already!
This is not a quick dish, but it is well worth the time. The peppers taste great the next day, too, so we often make a larger quantity. We did this this time, too, and had it the next day, too! Yum! Lucky me! We – I mean mainly mum! I was busy taking photos and making notes, during which mum was wonderfully patient! I thought she’d chase me out of the kitchen, me and my clicking, and moving the dishes around! – Thank you, mum!
Stuffed Peppers / Punjene paprike
SOURCE: mum’s recipe
PREPARATION TIME: 20 – 30 min
COOKING TIME: 2 – 2.5 h
14 large peppers*
1 kg beef mince
0.5 kg pork mince
1 small bulb of garlic, finely chopped or crushed
1 mug of rice (uncooked)
a small bunch of fresh parsley
some bread crumbs
a little oil
Recipe HERE. Please note that you will need to double or even tripple the quantities for the sauce if you are making the recipe as above, i.e. not scaled down.
I. Tomato sauce
- Prepare the tomato sauce first, if you don’t have it already made.
II. Prepare the peppers
- Now prepare the peppers. Wash them, and remove the core and the seeds. See photo below.
- Mix the ingredients for the stuffing together in a bowl. Adjust the seasoning.
IV. Stuff the peppers
- Stuff the peppers with the mixture, but do not overfill.
V. Assembling and cooking
- Place the peppers in a pan, with the opening pointing upwards (see photo below).
- Pour the tomato sauce over the peppers. Simmer for 2 – 2.5 hours. Add some flour mixed with water to thicken the sauce to the desired consistency.
- Serve with boiled potatoes, or mashed potato.
* If you are using large peppers, allow one per person per serving. If you’re using small peppers, allow 2 per person per serving. We got 14 servings out of these peppers.
** We normally make it in advance.
You can use beef mince only. Mum sometimes adds cubes of pancetta to the sauce.
Why not use a mixture of your favourite spices to spice up the mince? I might do that myself, although there is nothing wrong with going simple, and enjoying the tastes of the meat, and the vegetables just the way they are!
As I said, this used to be one of my favourite dishes when I was growing up. I still like it a lot! What more can I say? Do try this recipe!