Obviously the starting point is your peppers – Give them a wash to make sure that they are clean and then cut the top off thus making a lid, remove all the seeds and pith creating a pepper bowl and replace the lids to stop them drying out.
Boil the rice according to the packets cooking instructions but halve the cooking time – you don’t want your rice fully cooked as it will be cooked again later and you run the risk of it going very mushy later on.
Prepare 2 cups of stock (each about 150ml) – one will go inside the final stuffing mix and the second one will go at the bottom of your cooking dish, so peppers can get extra moisture while cooking.
Prepare the onions and mushrooms – cut them into small pieces and fry a bit until lightly golden.
Mix all your herb and spices in one bowl and give them a good stir.
Now it is time to combine everything together; mix your mince meat with the rice, herbs and spices and egg; add one cup of stock (I used herb stock) and finally add your fried onions and mushrooms. Mix everything well but gently so it stays light, too much pounding and you will end up with a dense heavy filling that will not be pleasant, until all ingredients are well combined.
Next step stuffing your pepper bowls – fill your peppers with the mixture and place in your final cooking dish. Ideally you want a dish that the peppers fit snugly in so they can support their neighbours and prevent themselves from falling over whilst cooking in the oven.
Once all peppers are in place put their lids on and add the 2nd cup of stock to the bottom of your dish. Cover and cook in the over for about 1.5h at 180C.
After this time if you are a cheese lover you can remove the peppers from the oven, take their hats off and sprinkle some cheese over them. Pop them back into the oven – uncovered – for a further 10 minutes.
Now it is time to dish up! I served our peppers with a tomato sauce (ok, almost tomato sauce, it was a tinned tomato soup from Heinz with added spices for a more “posh” flavour). So there you have it a nice easy recipe for a colourful and funky dinner. Enjoy! We did…..