Russian Gourmet: Stuffed Bell Peppers

During my conversation with George Detsios he mentioned that his restaurant had a very short menu which included stuffed peppers and stuffed cabbage. Stuffed peppers are not hard to make and if you purchase the peppers at the City Market like I did for 3-for-a-dollar they are also very inexpensive. I am not sure if they will be as good as George’s but you wouldn’t know any better anyway.

First, assemble the ingredients and equipment. You will need 6 peppers, lean ground beef, a carrot, few stalks of celery, an onion,a handful of rice, a can of tomato juice, cooking (olive) oil, salt, pepper, large pot to hold the peppers, smaller pot to boil tomato juice and a skillet. If you have a choice pick the peppers other than green, they are sweeter.

Put a handful of rice into a small pot of water, heat it up until it just boils then rinse. Remove the tops from the peppers, clean out the seeds and wash the peppers inside and outside. Do not discard the tops.

Chop an onion, and saute on the skillet with (olive) oil until translucent and soft. Shred a carrot into the skillet and continue sauteing on the low heat.

During that time boil a pot of water, turn off the heat, put peppers with tops in the pot and let them soften up for a few minutes. Drain the water and remove peppers.

While the peppers are cooling, boil tomato juice. Adjust salt/sugar levels to taste.

Mix ground beef, onions and carrots from the skillet, shredded celery and a couple of handfuls of water. Add salt if needed.

Stuff the mixture into peppers. Do not try to fit as much meat into a pepper as you can, this is not a meat-stuffing contest. Place peppers into an empty pot and cover with tops.

If you still have leftover meat  – roll it into a meatball and place it in the pot with peppers.

Pour boiling tomato juice over peppers, bring to boil, then simmer for 20-30 minutes. The goal is to have the stuffing cooked without letting the peppers disintegrate.

Serve with sour cream.

Here are the rest of my photos.

Disclaimer:this blog assumes no responsibility if the words “stuffing meat” got you excited. Please move on.

  • I travel for JOOLS

    Wow that’s completely different than the stuffed peppers I make but they do look good. I mix several ingredients, rice, cooked hamburger, tomato sauce and spices and fill the peppers and then I put them in a steamer for about 45 minutes. The peppers get soft but remain firm enough you can lift them out of the steamer and they won’t fall apart and tastes good too. I’ll have to try your recipe some time.

  • I love stuffed peppers. I just bake mine in the oven, but without the tomato juice over them. I think I will try adding carrots next time, though. I’m still crossing my fingers hoping I have a good crop of peppers.

  • I REALLY want to live at your house.

  • Drop me a note, I like to entertain when I am not too lazy

  • tracy a. / t.

    These sound much better than what I’m used to (and have never made because they always were the worst food I ever had as a child, no offense to Mom). Choosing non-green peppers and pork is a good start. Of course, I might find a way to veganize it and add more vegetables … maybe keep the dairy on the side, but would do non-fat yogurt instead of sour cream. Yeah, yeah, now it’s ruined, but I would feel better about eating it. Maybe one pork meatball and that’s it. (If that makes anyone excited, move on as well.)

  • nica

    You are a lifesaver. My boyfriend is Russian and I am American. He wants me to cook like his mother. Need I say more. He always says that I don’t use enough dill and too much cumin. Your recipes are easy to replicate with beautifull pictures. If you know of a recipe with groud meat on top halved eggplants please share that with me. Or any good plov recipes.
    Thank you!

  • Hi,thanks for the compliment.You will never cook like your boyfriend’s mother,might as well give up that crazy idea :-).I don’t have the recipe you need and I suck at making plov,but I should have enough here to keep you busy for a few dinners.I will try to find eggplant/meat recipe and see if it’s easy to make.BTW,your boyfriend should propose just for your willingness to cook all this stuff 🙂

    • Agrig

      I’m American and my boyfriend was Russian, and I learned to cook all sorts of Russian foods. We just got married last year, and I love this recipe!!

    • Agrig

      I’m American and my boyfriend was Russian, and I learned to cook all sorts of Russian foods. We just got married last year, and I love this recipe!!

  • Anonymous

    My wife makes them a little different but the meat vegetable mixture is the same. No tomato sauce. Plenty of sour cream. Yum. 

  • Geoff Munnerlyn

    This recipe looks delicious but I’m confused about what to do with the rice. Obviously you put them into the peppers at some point but do you combine it with the vegetable mixture, or when everything gets mixed together with the ground beef, or at some other point?

    • It gets mixed with the ground beef.

  • The New Yorker