I have my Great-grandmother's two-page, handwritten recipe for this dish. The pages are held together with a rusted straight pin. I work from a photocopy of the recipe, as I want to preserve this very old treasure, without handing splatters of chopped tomato down to future generations.
In the handwritten recipe, my Great-grandmother wrote, "Cook the meat until it wants to start flying."
- 1 cup chopped tomato
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 6 medium green bell peppers
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1 medium onion,chopped
- 3 cups cooked medium-grain rice (about 1 cup raw)
- 1 teaspoon salt, additional
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Chop the tomato (or measure out 1 cup drained diced canned tomatoes) and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Bring a large pot of water and the tablespoon salt to a boil and carefully drop the peppers into the boiling water. Bring back to a boil, and boil the peppers for 5 minutes. Remove and drain.
Prepare the peppers by cutting around the stem on the top and removing the stem. Remove as many of the seeds as possible without cutting into the bottoms or sides of the peppers.
Cook the ground meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it is browned, then add the hot water. Cook until the water evaporates, about 5 minutes, then add the tomato and onion and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.
Stir the cooked rice and additional salt, and black and white pepper into the meat mixture and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and stuff the peppers with the meat mixture.
Put the stuffed peppers into a baking pan that holds them snugly, and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.