Stuffed Vegetables with Ground Meat & Rice
- 3 Large firm ripe tomatoes
- 3 Large green bell peppers
- ½ Kg ground beef
- 2 Large onions
- ½ Cup of uncooked rice
- 1 Carrot
- 1 Tablespoon tomato purée
- 5-6 Stalks of fresh parsley
- ½ Cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt, pepper
- 1 Teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 Teaspoon dried chilli
- 1 Teaspoon cumin
- 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ Cup dried raisins
- ¼ Cup pine nuts
- 4 Medium sized potatoes
1. Soak the rice into a bowl with water for 15 minutes. Similarly, soak the raisins into a cup of water.
2. Wash the vegetables carefully. With a serrated knife, cut the caps off the tops of the tomatoes, the peppers and the onions.
3. Starting with the tomatoes, scoop out the tomato pulp and keep it in a bowl. The scooping is done as follows: start from the middle of the tomato and by turning the tomato with your hand scoop out the interior. Leave around 0.5 cm thickness on the tomato flesh.
4. Cut the top of the onion and scoop out the interior with the ice-cream scoop or a regular spoon. For the peppers, no scooping is required. Just remove the seeds and the internal white parts.
5. Salt the interior of all the vegetables and place them upside-down in the tray so that they dry out.
6. Preheat oven to 190C. Grind the tomatoes’ interior and mix it with the tomato puree. Finely chop the onions’ interior. Peel and cut the carrot into small cubes.
7. In a deep frying pan heat the olive oil in medium/high heat and place the onions. Let them cook for about 4 minutes, stirring continuously. Add the cumin and dried chilli pepper and continue by adding the carrot cubes.
8. Add the pine nuts and let cook for another 2 minutes. Place the ground beef in the pan and stir so that it is separated. Cook until beef has lost its red colour and turned into white/brown. This should take around 5 minutes.
9. Add the tomato mix to the pan and bring the heat down to medium. Add salt and pepper, sugar and cinnamon.
10. Drain the rice and add it to the pan. Similarly, add the raisins. Let the mix boil slowly for about 5 minutes and add some water if it dries out.
11. Finally, chop the parsley, add it in the pan and turn the heat off. Stir thoroughly and let it slightly cool down.
12. With a spoon, carefully fill each of the vegetables loosely with the meat and rice filling. Cover with caps and place in the baking pan. Drizzle with
olive oil. Wash and peel the potatoes. Place them among the vegetables so that they stand up tight.
13. Add ½ glass of water in the tray and bake at 190C for 80 minutes. While baking, check every now and then in case it needs some water to be added. Avoid letting the stuffed vegetables or the bottom of the tray dry out. Cover with foil if necessary to avoid burning on the surface.
14. When ready, leave to rest for about 15 minutes then serve it with feta cheese, olives and freshly baked bread.