Stuffed peppers – Punjenje Paprike
Stuffed peppers, in Croatian Punjene paprike (pronounce puniènè paprikè) are childhood memories for most of the Croatian people. The memory of a delicious smell coming from the kitchen when you come back from school, no one can forget that!
Everyone claiming that the recipe of his mom is the best, I propose you here the best recipe that I found so far. Tested many times, you just can’t get enough of it!
Recipe for 6 persons
Preparation: 30 mn
Cooking time: 45 mn
700g minced meat (500 g beef*, 200 g pork)
3 cloves of garlic
60 g white rice for risotto
1 tbsp sweet paprika
12 bell peppers (small ones if possible)
1 dl olive oil
50 g flour
½ L tomato sauce
1 L chicken broth
1 small celery stalk
* In Croatian cuisine when we talk about beef we actually use heifer meat. A heifer is how we call a young cow before she had her first calf. The meat is better quality.
1. All the ingredients are here. Let’s start!
2. Put a large saucepan on a medium heat and add the olive oil. With a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the oil a little bit at a time, until it is fully incorporated.
3. Using a whisk, add the tomato sauce whisking vigorously to make sure it’s free of lumps. Add the chicken broth stirring continuously.
Bring to a boil, turn off the heat and set aside.
4. Mix together the meat, rice, finely chopped onions, crushed garlic, sweet paprika, salt and pepper.
Mix well with the hands until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
5. At this stage any Croatian cook will add a spoon of Vegeta. It is a Vegetable stock powder that is used for salty dishes as a flavor enhancer.
6. Wash the bell peppers, slice off the top, remove the seeds and white filaments.
7. Stuff the bell peppers with the meat and place them into a large pan , add the celery stalk.
8. Add the mix tomato sauce/chicken broth to the top. If you miss some liquid add some broth.
Add some salt (be careful the chicken broth is already salted) and pepper.
9. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat and gently simmer for 45 minutes. Serve as we do it in Croatia, with mashed potatoes.
Stuffed peppers must be prepared the day before, they will be much better.
They can be frozen if you are sure the meat has not been frozen before.
Bon appétit ! Dobar tek !