More comfort food from childhood, and one of my father’s specialities. Any colour of pepper will do – I like the green ones, but my family prefer red or yellow as they’re sweeter. There’s probably a gazillion different recipes out there, but this is the way my parents (and my father’s family) always made them, so this is the way I make them too. They make an excellent re-heated lunch, but make sure you store them in the fridge and check that the rice is really hot before you tuck in.
250g beef mince
250g lamb mince
3/4 cup long grain rice
6 large peppers
1 tbsp dried mint
2 tsp sea salt flakes
Plain yogurt (to serve)
- Grate the onion into a large bowl, add in both types of mince, plenty of freshly ground pepper, the salt and dried mint, and rice. Use your hands to mix it really well, squishing the whole lot to really work the meat and other ingredients together.
- Carefully cut down into the top of each pepper, cutting around the stalk, and pull out the lid that you have created. Do not throw them away!
- Pull out the pithy parts from inside the peppers, and tap out any seeds that remain inside. Chop off the seedy part from each of the ‘lids’ of the peppers, and replace on each pepper so that you don’t forget which is which.
- Half fill each pepper with the meat/rice mix. Don’t be tempted to over fill them because they’ll either split or the rice won’t cook properly.
- Place all of the peppers in a large saucepan. You want them all standing upright together, so if needs be put a ramekin in there to help prop them up. They should fit snugly so that they can’t fall over while cooking.
- Pour boiling water into the pan until it reaches to level with the top of the peppers, bring to the boil, reduce to a strong simmer, cover and cook for 50 minutes. You might need to sacrifice a pepper at the this point to check that they’re done, so remove one from the pan, cut in half and check the rice is cooked completely. No one will mind because you have to chop into them to eat them!
- Serve in a bowl with the cooking liquid and a good dollop of yogurt.