4 portions. Maximum cost: £9.40 for all ingredients,
Skill level: Easy,
Total cooking time: 50 minutes,
- Prep time: 10 minutes,
- Cooking time: 40 minutes,
Equipment used: 1 large pan, 1 baking tray, food processor for making breadcrumbs or if adding chorizo, alternatively use fingers for crumbs and chop the sausage finely.
Original recipe: (Nigel Slater’s) Peppers with pork and rosemary
Despite loving pork, I can only think of a handful of occasions where I’ve used mince meat; on these rare occasions I’ve made the classic sausage roll or combined with minced beef to make meatballs. Having recently dabbled with a few Chinese style dishes that use this in dumplings or stir fried as a main, I’m now converted and am actively looking for more recipes that use this.
For this recipe, you could either buy mince or use sausage meat removed from the skins (Either way, I’d recommend buying this from your local butchers rather than purchasing from the supermarket. Obviously you can’t generalise but this typically has a lot more flavour and I believe that welfare standards can be greater. If you’re concerned about cost, opt for sausage meat. For Brixtonian’s – You can get a great deal at the Tompkins’ butchers stall at Sunday’s Farmer’s Market, any 3 items for £10 (not limited to sausages))
The original recipe makes the pork stuffing using only pork mince, onions, garlic and tomatoes. You can make this richer by adding blitzed chorizo, or pad out a smaller amount of meat by adding more root veg or herbs. I’ve also used mince marinated with Chinese flavours (soy, sesame oil, oyster sauce) which may even be my preferred method now.
- Get a large pan of boiling water on the go.
- Chop 4 red peppers in half, cut out as much of the membrane as you can
- Dice 1 large onion, 2 cloves of garlic and the leaves from 2 sprigs of rosemary and set aside.
- Chop 2 large tomatoes into small chunks and set aside.
- If using pancetta, dice this or if using chorizo, add to a food processor or cut finely before mixing with the mince – if your mince is coarse, you can chop this up more as well
- Blitz 1/2 a bread roll or 1 slice of bread into breadcrumbs and add into a hot oven for a couple of minutes to toast. (I’ve used half an onion bagel in the past so really whatever you have to hand)
- Grate a big handful of Parmesan and set aside
(Original recipe in bold font, my comments in italic)
Set the oven at 200C/gas mark 6.
Put 1 chopped onion into a large, shallow pan with oil over a moderate heat. Let the onion soften without colouring, then add leaves from 2 rosemary sprigs and 2 diced cloves of garlic to the onions.
When all is soft and fragrant, stir in 2 chopped tomatoes.
Cook until the tomatoes have collapsed into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in 350g minced pork and the breadcrumbs from 1/2 bread roll (I also like to add a dash of soy sauce at this point because pork loves soy sauce)
Remove from the heat.
Lower the halved peppers into a pan of boiling water for 6-8 minutes until they are slightly limp. (If the water is truly boiling I would reduce this time to 5 minutes maximum to prevent the peppers from becoming too soft)
Remove them with a draining spoon and put them skin-side down in a baking dish. (Make sure to remove as much water as possible – if needed place on a clean tea towel for a few minutes)
Divide the pork mixture between the peppers then moisten with a little olive oil. (I tend to over stuff mine because I like it that way)
Scatter grated Parmesan over the peppers and bake for 35 minutes or so till sizzling.
Serve with a spinach, rocket & and avocado salad and couscous (optional)
All prices from Sainsbury’s, unless otherwise stated
- 1 large onion (20p)
- 2 cloves of garlic (50p for a bulb)
- 3 sprigs of rosemary (70p for a packet)
- 2 large tomatoes (20p)
- 350g minced pork (£3 for 454g British Free Range pork mince OR £3.50 from Tompkins stall, also roughly 450g – I use all here and stuff my peppers until they are overflowing)
- bread roll for breadcrumbs (50p)
- 4 red peppers (£2)
- a handful of grated Parmesan (£2.30 for 150g of Parmigiano Reggiano)
- cous cous (65p for a 500g bag)
- Plus a salad consisting of spinach (£1), rocket (£1) and avocado (£1) and dressing (1 lemon, 30p)
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