Paprika’s are the perfect vehicle to fill. When you use courgettes, tomatoes, aubergines or onions (other vegetables that are commonly filled) you always end up with the flesh that you took out and either use in the stuffing (with less space remaining for the other stuffing ingredients) or find another dish to use it in. With paprika’s, you don’t have this problem, since they are already hollow. I like this dish a lot because the stuffed paprika’s look pretty, are a complete meal and are very juicy/self-saucing and flavoursome. They are also great to use up leftover rice and mince. It is also a great dish to make for a large amount of people and/or in advance. I like to use red paprika’s, but you can also use yellow or orange ones, or a mix to give the dish some more colour variation. I would not use green paprika’s, because they tend to get bitter after cooking them for a while.
Stuffed paprika’s (4 paprika’s)
4 paprika’s (red, yellow, orange or a mix)
2 cups cooked rice
100 gram mince (I like a mix of pork and beef)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped
1 beef stock cube
1 tsp worcestershiresauce
Get an oven dish large enough to fit in the paprika’s, but small enough to have the sides of the dish supporting the paprika’s. Preheat the oven at 180C.
Prepare the paprika’s. Slice of the top, remove the seeds and set aside (this will be the lid). Take out the seeds from the paprika. Check if the paprika will stand up, if not, slice a tiny bit of the bottom to even it out, but make sure you do not get a hole in the bottom, otherwise all the jummy juices will leak out. Do the same with the other 3 paprika’s. Place the paprika’s but not the lids in the oven dish and place it in the oven for 10 minutes. This will pre-cook the paprika and will make sure they are tender after the second time in the oven.
Prepare the filling. Heat a frying pan and add the mince (it will be fat enough on its own, so no oil needed). Fry until it starts to brown, then add the onion and garlic. Fry until the mince is brown and the onion and garlic soft. Crumble the stock cube over it, add the worcestershiresauce and season with pepper to taste. Fry a little longer, then add the rice and mix well.
Stuff the paprika’s with the rice-mince mixture, press it down well with a spoon and leave room on top for the egg. Break the egg, carefully let it slide in the paprika, then place the lid on top. Cook in the oven for 10 (runny egg) to 20 (quite firm egg) minutes.
You can do everything in advance, except adding the egg and cook the stuffed paprika’s. If you make them longer than an hour in advance, store in the fridge, and either let them come to room temperature before cooking, or add an extra few minutes to the cooking time.