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Slovak Stuffed Peppers

Slovak stuffed peppers are filled with ground meat and rice, and then stewed in a smooth tomato sauce for a juicy and flavourful meal.

Ingredients

  • 200 grams (1 cup) short-grain rice
  • 500 grams (17.5 oz) ground pork (or any other meat)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 egg
  • 8 banana peppers (or other pepper)

Tomato sauce

  • 2 tablespoons lard or other oil
  • 4 tablespoons flour (or other thickener) For gluten-free or paleo alternatives, you can use instead 4 teaspoons cornstarch, arrowroot, or potato starch; 1 tbsp + 2 tsp tapioca flour; or 4 tbsp rice flour or general GF flour mix
  • 500 grams (2 cups) tomato puree
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vegeta (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook short grain rice according to instructions. I rinse off the rice, add 1 1/4 cup water and bring it to a simmer in a pot over a medium flame with the lid off. I then give it a stir, put on the lid and put it over a very low flame for about 25 minutes. Or something like that, because I always forget the time.

  2. While the rice is cooling, chop the small onion into small pieces and mix with ground meat, salt, pepper, marjoram, and egg. Add in the mostly cooled (or leftover) rice and combine. This is easiest to do with your hands. 

  3. Stuff the meat mixture into peppers, pressing with your fingers, or form the mixture into large balls. 

  4. To prepare the tomato sauce, put the lard or other fat into a pot on low heat. When melted, sprinkle in the flour or flour alternative and stir. For flour, rice flour and GF blend, stir until the flour starts getting golden. Add the tomato puree, salt, and bay leaf. Vegeta is a general vegetable flavouring in common use here and is optional if you do not have it.

  5. Lay the stuffed peppers and meat balls into the tomato sauce. Add enough water so that the sauce covers the peppers and meat balls. Bring to a simmer for about 40 minutes, until the skin of the peppers is wrinkly. 

  6. Serve a stuffed pepper with tomato sauce poured over top. Some people add knedle, steamed bread, because it's great at sopping up the sauce. Add a side of boiled potatoes, bread, or pasta if you desire, but I prefer it plain.