Here I am, stuffing meat into peppers again! If you’re trying to limit your intake of carbs, making bowls out of vegetables instead of serving with rice, pasta, or tortillas is a great option. Bell peppers hold a generous amount of stuffing, and also help make this a complete, healthy meal. This is one of four stuffed pepper recipes we’ve posted – each with a bit of international flair. In the past we’ve used lamb and feta, curried beef, and beef chili and poblanos.
Some of our favorite bloggers, Carrie and Brandon from Our Life in Food, recently posted a recipe for Cuban Picadillo with Sauteed Almonds that just made my mouth water. I posted it on our Inspiring Recipes board on Pinterest, waiting for a good time to explore those sweet and salty flavors. I modified the recipe a bit – one friend recently commented that I put onions in everything, which is not too far from the truth. I also added cumin, and raisins and capers to add more sweet and salty notes – then stuffed it all into peppers. The picadillo is just brimming with different flavors, with contrasting spices adding complexity to the dish (as Carrie noted). One really good thing about this recipe is how versatile it is – adapt it to your own taste! Thank you for the inspiration, Our Life in Food!
- 1 pound grass-fed, ground beef
- ~1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 sweet onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 bay leaf
- 12 ounces diced or crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 cup raisins (I used golden raisins)
- 1/2 cup water
- 10 Spanish olives stuffed with pimento, roughly chopped (just plain black olives work too, pitted and roughly chopped)
- 1/4 cup capers, rinsed
- 2-3 red or yellow, sweet bell peppers
In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook the onion for a few minutes, until translucent. Add the beef and brown until cooked through. Drain off excess accumulated fat, if necessary, leaving about 2 tablespoons.
Add the garlic, oregano, cumin, salt, allspice, bay leaf, tomatoes, tomato paste, and water. Mix well, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add more water if necessary to keep it moist.
Add the olives and capers. Mix well and simmer, partially covered, for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Discard the bay leaf.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise, and remove the core and seeds. Use a smaller peeler to scape out the white spines. Fill each pepper half with the picadillo, and set the peppers aside. If you have excess filling (as I did using 2 peppers), place the extra picadillo in the bottom of a lightly greased baking dish. Then put the stuffed peppers on top of the picadillo – this results in the juices from the peppers mixing with the meat, which will be extra delicious on its own.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, loosely covered in foil, until the peppers are tender. Serve hot, and enjoy!
It’s a rare event that compels us to leave the house, but we’re excited to go travel to the depths of Cobb County for this show…Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, with Richard Thompson opening. Oh yes! Electric is the latest from Thompson, and he doesn’t disappoint, with his passionate, intricate guitar work and his subtle wordplay in full force.
Emmylou and Rodney were in The Hot Band together, and Old Yellow Moon shows they haven’t missed a step in the years apart. Great harmonies on such songs such as “Bluebird Wine” and “Back When We Were Beautiful”. Can’t wait for the show!