Hungarians like stuffed vegetables. Whether it is cabbage, kohlrabi or pepper, stuffed vegetables are on the menu in every household. Hungary is a major pepper producer, and paprikas come in all colors, shapes and sizes. There is even a type of yellow pepper called ‘TV Paprika’, which is short for ‘paprika to stuff’.
Hungarian stuffed peppers aren’t really Hungarian. This recipe has Turkish origins and was adopted by Hungarians during the Turkish occupation in the 16 and 17th centuries.
Hungarian yellow peppers give this dish its distinct taste, although any kind of bell peppers can be used. Multicolored bell peppers have thicker skin and may take longer to cook.
This is an easy recipe to prepare and impress your friends with. There are many different ways to make stuffed peppers and the recipe below is the way my family has been making this tasty dish for generations.
5-6 Hungarian yellow peppers
1 pounds of fresh ground pork
1 liter (34 ounces) of tomato sauce
1 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
½ cup of rice
salt, black pepper, paprika and sugar to taste
2 tablespoons of flour
Mix the ground pork, onion, garlic, rice and eggs in a bowl. Add the salt, black pepper, parsley and paprika and mix everything together thoroughly. Put the mixture in the fridge and let it settle for a few hours.
Wash and de-core the peppers and remove the seeds and the membranes. Take a larger pot, add the tomato sauce, add 1 liter of water, salt and sugar to taste and stir until it comes to a slow boil.
Now it’s time to stuff the peppers with the meat-rice mixture. Be sure to leave some room, as the rice will expand when cooked. Form meatballs from the remaining stuffing and place them in the simmering tomato sauce along with the stuffed peppers. The sauce should cover the peppers and meatballs, so if needed add some more water. Cover and let it cook for about 50 minutes.
In a saucepan make a light brown broth from 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons of flour. Remove the stuffed peppers and the meatballs from the pot, reduce the heat, add the hot broth and stir until you get a smooth sauce. You can also use a stick blender to smooth the sauce. Bring it to boil, and when the sauce thickens (it takes about 3 minutes) add the peppers and meatballs back into the sauce. Heat thoroughly and your Hungarian stuffed pepper dish is ready for serving.
Bon appétit! (Jó étvágyat!)