I saw some more capsicums at Dilliro Vegetables on the weekend. They were different to the last lot I stuffed. These were orange, but just as squat and just as cute. I wanted to try a different version of the stuffing I did last time. I wanted to stuff them with the raw mince mixture, then bake them; so it would be like a capsicum wrapped meatball. I thought they might hold their shape better, and I may get better texture from the filling. It was also super easy. I had an eye to stuffing them on the weekend, putting them back in the fridge and then whipping them out and into the oven during the week when I didn’t have the energy to cook. It was a splendid idea, and gave the mince the chance to marinade in all the flavours of the stuffing.
The sweetness of the capsicum and sultanas balances perfectly with the lamb and harissa. The pine nuts keep a crunch in a mouthful and the capsicum cooked to soft luscious perfection. The whole thing holds its shape as you cut it with a knife, for a forkful of balanced perfection. I took the advice originally received by Mr Dilliro (of whose actual name, I have no idea), to keep the meat moist, add some grated capsicum to the mince. I did that, and it also had the added benefit of keeping the meat a beautiful red colour.
|4-6||small orange capsicums|
|1||tablespoon||pine nuts, toasted|
|1||small red capsicum, grated|
Combine the lamb mince, breadcrumbs, harissa, sultanas, pine nuts, oregano and grated capsicum in a bowl till well mixed.
Cut the capsicums in half. Using a melon baller, or other tricky implement, remove the seeds and any white pith.
Stuff the capsicums with a little filling at a time, to make sure your meat is pushed well into the crevices of the capsicum. Overfill each half, so when you put the halves back together again, you can squish them together and even out the filling so the capsicums have a nice brown ‘belt’ around their middles. (If preparing in advance, return them to the fridge at this point)
Preheat the oven to 200oC. Place the capsicums on an oven proof dish and bake for 40 minutes at 200oC, then increase the temperature as high as you can and bake for a further 15 minutes so the skin starts to char.
Remove from the oven and serve two or three capsicums with spinach and rice pilaf and/or salad and za’atar crusted bread.