Last Christmas my parents got me a Ukrainian cookbook. For whatever reason it took me almost a year to actually try out some of the recipes from it. I’m not going to lie, some of them are a bit “much” for my American eating sensibilities-stuffed pork stomach and stewed pig with horseradish (the recipe truly calls for a 2-3 pound pig which I don’t even know if in American butcher shops one can go and buy a whole pig). However, there are other recipes that sound extremely delicious and ones I’ll be anxious to try out in the future. I’ll be having a separate post on the other dish I made, carrot babka.
I’m not the biggest fan of green peppers (however, I love red bell peppers). But in wanting to stick to the original recipe I used green peppers. To me, green peppers just have an unflattering taste to them. However, the stuffing was delicious as was the gravy. I discovered though that Ukrainian cooking uses a lot of sour cream as a large number of recipes in the cookbook called for sour cream. I’m not a fan of the taste of “raw” sour cream but when it’s mixed up with other ingredients I suppose it’s not as bad.
Peppers Stuffed with Meat and Rice
from The Best of Ukrainian Cuisine by Bohdan Zahny
10 T. rice
2 lbs. ground beef
6 T. butter
3 lbs. green peppers
2 c. water
parsley, salt and pepper to taste
4 T. flour
4 c. bouillon
4 T. butter
1 c. sour cream
4 T. tomato paste
salt to taste
Wash and cook rice for 7-10 minutes. Brown meat, drain grease out and remove from pan. Cook onions in butter until brown. Add cooked rice and meat to onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix well for stuffing.
Wash green peppers. Cut off their tops. Set them aside. Take out seeds and membranes. Cover with boiling water and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain them, stuff them with meat and rice. Close with their tops. Place upright next to each other in a baking dish, separating peppers from each other with tomato slices.
For gravy: Slightly brown flour. Add bouillon, sour cream, and browned tomato paste. Sprinkle with salt. Mix well. Bring to boil and strain. Cover peppers with half the sauce. Bake peppers in 350 degrees F for 50 minutes. Serve with the rest of the hot gravy sprinkled with thinly cut up parsley.