DECONSTRUCTED STUFFED PEPPERS - GOMBÓCOS TÖLTÖTT PAPRIKA
This is a fast version of the Hungarian favourite, the flavours are the same, but these are ready in record time.
The original Stuffed Pepper
Deconstructing this dish is smart when Hungarian peppers are unavailable and all you have are large green bells. Stuffing them would result in enormous servings and would require way too much sauce. Besides limp green peppers are not that appealing and would inevitably be pushed aside on the plate. To save more time, I omitted the half cooked rice in the meatballs and replaced them with 3 Tbsp of fine breadcrumbs. There was no need to make a roux for the tomato sauce either, because the pureed green peppers sufficiently thicken the sauce, making this a lighter dish than usual. I took it a step further, and instead of serving the potatoes on the side, I put them right into the sauce before serving. [I did not cook the potatoes in the sauce.] What made it extra fast; I used a bag of tomatoes and a half a bag of chopped peppers from my freezer. But the write up was adjusted for readily available ingredients.
4 large green peppers
250 g fresh, extra lean ground pork
1 small onion, diced
2 + 2 Tbsp oil
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tbsp fine breadcrumbs
salt and ground pepper to taste
8 medium sized tomatoes or 1 large can of whole tomatoes
1/2 bunch of fresh parsley
4 medium sized cooked potatoes pealed and chopped
sugar to taste
• Core and chop the peppers, discarding seeds and stems.
• Chop the tomatoes. • In a large pot sauté the onions in 2 Tbsp oil until soft.
• Add the peppers and the tomatoes to the pot.
• Begin to cook on medium heat, stirring often.
• Meanwhile place the ground pork in a large bowl.
• Add the soft onions, the garlic, the fine breadcrumbs and the egg.
• Sprinkle salt and ground pepper on the top.
• Combine the meat mixture thoroughly.
• Form into small meatballs.
• Remove the pot from the stove and one by one place the meatballs on top of the vegetables.
• Return pot to heat and add enough water to cover the meatballs.
• Bring to the simmer, reduce heat a little and cover the pot.
• Cook until the meatballs are no longer pink inside.
• Meanwhile cook 4 medium sized potatoes in a separate pot. Drain the potatoes and set them aside for use later.
• Remove the pepper pot from heat and with a slotted spoon gently remove all the meatballs onto a tray.
• Puree what remains in the pot and gently put back the meatballs.
• Add the parsley sprigs and bring pot back to slow simmer.
• Simmer until the meatballs are tender.
• Taste and adjust the salt and add some sugar to taste. The sauce should have a mildly sweet taste, it should not be sour; at the same time this isn’t a sweet dish. So add the sugar with restraint and keep tasting until best flavour is achieved.
• Add the reserved cooked potatoes and cover the pot.
• Remove pot from heat and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
• You may remove the parsley sprigs before serving, I kind of like them on my plate.
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