Slow-Cooked Beef, Rice, and Tomato Stuffed Capsicums (Bell Pepper)
If you love capsicum (bell pepper), then list this on your meal plan. It's quite quick to prepare—unless you're one of those serious cooks who loves to dice, slice, and chop in equal measures. I'm no good at cooking, so I never take myself seriously in the kitchen. This is one of those easy meals that I am able to surprise my family and myself with. I hope you enjoy making it as much as I do.
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 500 grams beef mince, 88% or 3-star/4-star
- 3/4 cup medium-grain white rice (or jasmine rice)
- 4 large tomatoes, diced
- 2/3 jar (333 g) pasta sauce (I use bacon, garlic, and herb pasta sauce, but any tomato-based sauce will work)
- 150 to 170 grams cheddar or other vintage cheese, or 1/4 to 1/3 of 625g bar
- 6 medium red capsicums
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- Salt, pepper, soy sauce, chili flakes, as preferred
- Oil, for cooking (any type is ok, but avoid taste-altering oils like coconut)
- Cook rice (separate instructions below). Set aside.
- Saute garlic and onion using little oil in your nonstick pan over low heat. You want a slow browning for a more aromatic and tasty mix.
- Mix in beef mince. Flatten on the pan over medium heat. Season with salt, chili flakes, pepper, and some soy sauce. Leave it to lightly brown and oil out, mixing and turning once in a while, 5-7 minutes tops. Drain oil leaving only a little.
- Mix in diced tomatoes. Stir a bit, about 2 minutes.
- Mix in pasta sauce. Stir and turn for about 4 minutes.
- Mix in rice. Repeat seasoning with salt, pepper, chili flakes, and some soy sauce, if desired. Stir and blend for about 4 minutes until everything is blended well.
- Turn off heat. Mix in grated cheese. You can add more if you want it cheesier. Rest.
- Prepare the capsicums. Cut the tops off and remove the core.
- Fill each capsicum with the filling. Pack well.
- Line the slow cooker with parchment. Prop the capsicums in (mine can fit 6 capsicums).
- Spread 1 tbs. of remaining pasta sauce on tops of each piece.
- Pour about 2 tablespoonsful of chicken stock over each stuffed capsicum.
- Line the top securely with thick paper towels and seal with the glass lid. Remember to do this in order to prevent the pot from collecting liquid.
- Cook on high for 3 to 3.5 hours depending on how crisp you want your capsicums to be. Be careful not to burn yourself with the steam when you open the lid.
How to Cook Rice (Stovetop Method)
- Place 3/4 cup of medium grain rice into a small to medium-sized pot.
- Pour in 1.25 cups of water.
- Cover the pot.
- Bring to boil. Then lower heat to the minimum setting.
- Leave rice to a steady, slow, low heat simmer for about 15 minutes or until water has evaporated. Never open the lid while cooking, not once.
- Soy sauce is not advised for G6PD-deficient persons.
- Red garlic is more pungent than brown China garlic. I would prefer red garlic, if not for its more expensive price.
- Brown onion is milder and sweeter than red onion. I prefer brown onions.
- Saxa has mild pepper. Mckenzie's is stronger.
- 3 star beef puts more flavor in the filling mix, especially with the rice. Just remember to do the initial drain so you can reduce beef fat to a minimum.
- Line your slow cooker with paper towels on top to prevent the collection of liquids in non-soup recipes.
- It's always better to use rice grains instead of instant rice. The key to cooking rice is to not bother it while it's cooking. Frequent opening of the lid will tamper with the temperature. Also, I never stir my rice. Nor do I put salt in it. Lastly, I prefer to not wash my grains before cooking. I love the undisturbed texture of it and all.
- Slow-cooking capacity and cooking time varies according to the product model.
Why You Should Eat Your Capsicums
I love that Australia's Department of Health and Human Services devoted a page to informing people about Capsicum. From there, we gather these about Capsicums:
- provides Vitamin A, B Vitamins, Vitamin C, E, and K.
- a good source of fibre
- best kept in fridge
- also called bell pepper
- reds are sweeter and soften faster than greens
- firm, glossy pieces are desirable. Avoid shriveled, soft ones.
- tend to sweat in ordinary plastic bags. Better store them in paper bags then.
Studies show beneficial effects of capsicum or capsaicin:
- cardio protection
- antilithogenic effect
- antiinflammatory properties
- thermogenic influence
- on GI system
- inhibits acid secretion
- stimulates alkali, mucus secretion and gastric mucosal blood flow (helps in prevention and healing of gastric ulcers)
- prevention of cholesterol gallstones
Benefits of capsaicin topicals include:
- alleviates pain in arthritis
- postoperative neuralgia
- diabetic neuropathy
- Biological Activities of Red Pepper (Capsicum annuum) and Its Pungent Principle Capsaicin: A Review.
Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2016 Jul 3;56(9):1488-500. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2013.772090. Review
- Capsicum - Better Health Channel
Capsicums, available in a multitude of colours, are an excellent source of vitamins A and C. This versatile vegetable can be stuffed, roasted, used in stir-fries or simply eaten raw. In Victoria, capsicums are at their peak between March and November
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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© 2019 Ana Menez