This is one of the comfort food recipes - stuffing needs preparation, baking time is about an hour - so this characteristic Bulgarian recipe could be best prepared for the weekend lunch or dinner.
Although being one of the most typical recipes of Bulgarian National cuisine, the way of preparing this dish slightly differs between the different families.
Fresh or dried peppers can be used and it can be boiled in a pot on top of the stove or baked in the oven. I prefer the baked version - it results in dryer peppers with more intense taste.
- 2 pounds (1 kg) minced meat from the pork shoulder
- 1 big onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 10 large red peppers - nearly 2 pounds (1 kg)
- 5 Tbsp sunflower oil
- 3 oz (100 g) butter for basting
- 1/2 cup arborio rice
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 pound (500 g) tomatoes, grated
- 2 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp ground cumin
- 2 Tbsp dry savory
- salt to taste
Preheat oven to 360° F (180°C).
Wash peppers, cut upper parts and remove seeds. Reserve tops.
Heat oil and 3 Tbsp of the butter in a large skillet on medium heat until hot and add chopped onion. Saute until tender and add garlic. Cook for additional 2-3 minutes and stir in mince and seasoning. Fry mince for 5 minutes until it changes its color, breaking up any lumps with a spoon. Add rice to the mixture, saute for 1-2 minutes and add half of the grated tomatoes and the whole cup of broth. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes until rice absorbs most of the liquid. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and start with the stuffing.
Stuff your peppers with a spoon, but do not compact them too hard. Put a top on every pepper. Arrange peppers on a baking tray, place a small piece of butter over each one, spoon the second half of the grated tomatoes around them and some of the stuffing mixture, if remained.
Bake for 1 hour, basting occasionally until peppers change their colors to golden brown.
Serve warm with a spoon of yogurt and some slices of crusty bread.