This past weekend two things inspired this recipe. First, we had our first snow, which always makes me crave piping hot, stick-to-your-bones casserole-style meals. You know the ones; they're great as casseroles to take a neighbor after a new baby, they taste even better the second (or third) day, and you probably use the same recipe that the women of your family have been passing down for generations. They're the recipes you know by heart. Secondly, my husband and I made a trip to the Marine Base 45 minutes from our house to stock up. We do this every six months and buy mostly meats (the prices are so much better than the civilian groceries) and other things we can store in the basement storage room that has become my tanning salon, seasonal decor storage area, and spare pantry. I bought enough to fill both my freezers to overflowing and quickly found that a few of the freezer-friendly meals I'd made during a cooking spree a while ago needed to be eaten to make room. A container of these peppers was in the mix, and made for a fabulous lunch on a cold snowy day! Bonus points since my two year-old also gobbled one down!
6 green bell peppers
salt to taste
1 pound ground beef
1/3 cup chopped onion
pepper to taste
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1 beef bouillon cube
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
1 can (10 oz) tomato soup
Cut the tops off the peppers and remove the seeds. Cook the peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes (submerge them so they'll fill with water and not float). Drain. Sprinkle with salt inside each pepper and set aside.
Brown the ground beef with onion in a large skillet for 5 minutes. Drain. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in tomatoes, rice, bouillon, bay leaf, 1/2 cup water, and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until the rice is tender. Remove from heat. Discard the bay leaf and stir in 1 cup of the cheese.
Preheat the oven to 350. Stuff each pepper with the beef mixture and place stuffed side up in a baking dish (an ice cream scoop works great for this step!). Blend the soup with just enough water to make gravy consistency. Pour over the bell peppers. Bake, covered, for 25-35 minutes or until heated through. For the last 10-15 minutes of baking time, sprinkle remaining cheese over each pepper and allow to melt until bubbly.
Recipe adapted from My Mama Made That, by the Junior League of Hampton Roads.