This Catalan stuffed pepper recipe includes rice, ground meat, and aromatic herbs and is cooked in the oven.
Its name in Catalan is Pebrots Farcits, which means Stuffed Peppers. Valencians love stuffed peppers with rice too but in some regions, a pepper is a pebrera pimenton or a bajoca, which gets a little bit confusing because it’s the same name that designates the green beans you add to Paella Valenciana.
Anyway, whatever the name of the sweet pepper, the recipes are very similar and just as delicious. In the Eastern Mediterranean, Greeks and Turks have similar dishes as well. After all, the traditional Mediterranean diet shares a culinary heritage.
Regarding the meat you can mix pork and beef as we have done in this recipe or use one or the other if you so prefer. In this recipe, the proportion of meat to rice is 50%, but you can also vary this without any issues. This stuffed bell pepper recipe admits variations easily. Some home cooks add chopped onion right at the beginning as if it was a sofregit.
- 4 red bell peppers
- 13 ounces or 360 g ground meat
- 13 ounces or 360 g short-grain or round-grain raw rice
- 4 ripe medium-sized tomatoes —peeled and finely chopped
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves —peeled and finely chopped
- 3 sprigs fresh flat Italian parsley —finely chopped
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 pinches saffron
- 1 pinch ground sweet paprika
- Salt to taste
How to Make Stuffed Peppers
- Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a casserole or Dutch oven. Add the ground meat, the chopped garlic and the parsley leaves, the ground nutmeg, cinnamon, and paprika, the pinches of saffron. Cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat until the meat turns slightly golden brown. Stir often.
- Set 2 tablespoons of tomato aside and add the remaining chopped tomato to the casserole with the meat. Add salt, stir, and cover. Continue cooking for 5 minutes.
- Add the raw rice, stir well, and remove from heat.
- Wash the bell peppers, slice off the top of each one at about 3/4 inch of the stem, and set them aside for later use as lids. Once the cap is removed use your fingers to pull out the core and the seeds. Go back a second time with your fingers to remove any remaining seeds and filaments. If you have to use a knife do it with care as it is very important that the body of the bell peppers stay intact.
- Preheat the oven for about 15 minutes.
- Now it’s time to stuff the peppers with the meat and rice mixture with the help of a spoon. Don’t fill the peppers completely, leave about 1/5 empty.
- Put back the matching top to each pepper as if they were lids and stick both together with toothpicks.
- Arrange the peppers vertically in a deep earthen pot, a Dutch oven, or other similar oven-fit pot
- Add the cup of warm water, 1 tablespoon olive oil, the 2 tablespoons of chopped tomato you set aside, and a pinch of salt to a jug and pour it into the pot with the peppers.
- Cover the pot and cook the peppers in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Turn off the oven and let them rest for about 10 minutes. This delicious Stuffed Pepper Recipe is now ready to be served.