June 23, 2011

Pairing Party: Stuffed Peppers & Bordeaux

It's not like we haven't been indulging in deliciousness, we've just been too busy to write about it! So today (even though its not Monday) we're making time, as we're long overdue for a Pairing Party.

Check out this fabulicious recipe for Stuffed Peppers from Lisa at The Novice Nosher, accompanied by a vino selection from yours truly. Bordeaux, baby, Bordeaux!

Stuffed Peppers

  • 5-6 bell peppers (any color)
  • 1 package lean ground beef (between 1 and 2 lbs)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 bag of boil-in-a-bag rice, cooked
  • 1 small package of dill, mince
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • chicken broth or stock
  • salt and pepper
  • Optional: Tabasco or your favorite hot sauce
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the top of the peppers and remove the seeds so that each pepper is like a cup. Keep the tops. Set peppers aside.

Mix the diced onion, ground beef, rice, dill, about a tablespoon each of salt and pepper, and all but 1 tablespoon of the tomato paste in a large mixing bowl. Mash and combine thoroughly with your hands.

Stuff the peppers with the beef mixture. There should be enough beef mixture so that you’ll have some overflow – no need to pack it in so that it’s all inside the pepper. Place each pepper in a shallow glass pan or baking dish.

In another mixing bowl, combine ¾ cup of stock with the remaining tomato paste and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle about a tablespoon each of liquid onto the stuffed peppers. Place the pepper tops back onto the peppers to cover the beef a little.

Pour the remaining liquid into the dish; it should reach about halfway up the pepper (if it doesn’t, you can add more stock or broth into the dish). Cover the dish with foil and carefully place into the oven. Bake for 1 hour.

Remove the dish and spoon more of the liquid onto the cooked peppers. Serve warm and add Tabasco or hot sauce to your liking.

A Note From Lisa:
This is a recipe my mom recently made while she was visiting me here in DC. She adapted it slightly after learning it from a Greek friend. She's also made these before with different types of peppers, hot or mild, so as long as they're big enough to stuff, you can put this beef mixture into any kind of pepper. And because this is basically protein and grains inside a vegetable, it makes for an easy and filling dish, especially if you have a family or visitors over for dinner - we were able to stuff 6 large peppers with the amount of mixture we made. Plus all you would need to accompany this is just a side salad, and of course a glass of red wine, like the one Miss Winobee has suggested below.

Pairing Party
The combination of protein and acid in this dish will lend well to a wine that offers the same attributes, that's why we went with a #Bordeaux!

Try this '03 Chateau Tour de Guiet which is just as big on flavors as your Stuffed Peppers dish. You'll experience cocoa, black cherry and even some floral notes on the nose, but you'll be greeted with balanced earth tones and an essence of driftwood on the taste. Its medium-bodied with light, smooth tannins and a velvety finish.

Cost: $16/bottle
Where to Buy: Morrell's Wine