Lamb and Orzo Stuffed Peppers

I’m not a huge fan of stuffed peppers. I think it’s because I don’t like the solid ball of meat and because most people use green peppers, which I find to be a little bitter. This recipe is a nice change. The filling is loose and the peppers are red. Even if you like traditional stuffed peppers, the lamb is a nice alternative.  I had company for dinner tonight and she provided a lovely mache salad and some tomatoes with mozzarella. What a lovely dinner!

The stuffing is loose because you cook all of the elements, mix them in a bowl and then stuff the peppers.  This time my stuffing has pasture raised lamb, onions, carmine peppers, whole wheat orzo and feta.  This lamb came from Pair a Dice Farm.  It has a very mild flavor.  The carmine peppers from Victory Farm are sweet and wonderful.  I recommend mixing in the feta while the other ingredients are still warm.  That will hold it together just a little and distribute the lovely salty flavor more evenly.

You cook these peppers on a bed of tomatoes.  I recommend that you heat a shallow baking dish with a little olive oil in it.  Place the tomatoes – I used quartered cherry tomatoes – on the hot oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and put them in the oven to roast 2-3 minutes.  You should also cover the peppers with foil when you cook them.  I forgot that and mine browned a little much on the top.

If the peppers are small you may want to cut out the top, clean out the inside and stuff the whole pepper.  I always think that makes a pretty presentation.  Feel free to do these ahead and cook them the next day.  Or put together a bunch and freeze them.  The peppers are extra soft after they’ve been frozen and baked, but still good.

Good? Yep.
Easy? Relatively.
Good for company? For a casual dinner with the neighbors.
Special shopping? Get good lamb or the taste will be gamey.

This recipe is modified from one I found on epicurious.com years ago.  Their version doesn’t include peppers or feta and does call for dill.  I like mine better, but the title link below will take you to the original.

Lamb and Orzo Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients

1 lb ground lamb
1 onion, diced
2 carmine, or other sweet pepper, peppers, diced small
3/4 C whole wheat orzo
2 ounces feta
2 large or 3-4 small red peppers
1 1/2 C cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
salt and pepper

Directions

Boil water and cook orzo to al dente.

Halve peppers, removing stem, seeds and veins.

Add 1 tsp olive oil in a shallow baking dish and heat in a 350 degree oven. When oil is hot add tomatoes and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven.

In a large skillet saute onions and peppers.
Add lamb and cook until brown.
Turn off heat and add orzo and feta. Mix thoroughly.
Stuff pepper havles with lamb mixture.
Place halves among tomatoes in the baking dish.
Cover dish with foil.
Bake at 350 degrees 25-30 minutes, or until peppers are tender.

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2 Responses to “Lamb and Orzo Stuffed Peppers”

  1. Sten Says:

    I would be tempted to give this a try, had I not just totally ruined an otherwise lovely pot of chili by putting lamb in it. How does a person know she is getting good lamb? I got mine at Whole Foods. It was pastured, and looked fresh, though it wasn’t local (it was NZ lamb). Used it the day I bought it. How can you tell whether your lamb will be gamey – a term I’ve heard but could not define except that people use it as an unflattering description for meat. If ‘gamey’ means that it tastes like a$$, then mine was that.

    I’m sure your dish was delicious! Sorry to use your blog to complain about my own cooking.

    • 1womanskitchen Says:

      Well, lamb has a distinctive flavor. It’s possible you just don’t like it. I’m not at all convinced that I’d like it in chili and I love lamb. The best way to know what you’re getting is to buy local. That way you can talk to the farmer about the flavor. I like a mild flavor in the ground, but a stronger flavor in the chops and shanks. My suggestion – if you’re unfamiliar with lamb, order it in a restaurant you trust. Then you’ll know it’s prepared well so you can decide if you like it or not, on its own merits.

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