Spiced Lamb and Couscous Stuffed Red Peppers
The View From the Great Island
Spiced Lamb and Couscous Stuffed Peppers ~ this classic comfort food gets a Middle Eastern makeover with ground lamb and fluffy couscous!
- 6-8 red bell peppers (look for similar sizes and shapes so they cook evenly)
- 12 ounces ground lamb
- 0.5 tsp cinnamon
- 0.5 tsp allspice
- 0.25 tsp cardamom
- 0.25 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- olive oil
- 0.5 onion (minced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 0.5 cup pine nuts
- 2 cups cooked couscous (I cook mine in chicken stock for extra flavor)
- 0.25 cup currants
- 0.5 cup crumbled feta cheese
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- pomegranate molasses (optional)
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes (or any plain tomato sauce)
- yogurt mint sauce
- 1 cup yogurt
- 0.5 cup mint leaves
- juice of 1 lemon
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Slice the tops off of your peppers and reserve. Remove the seeds and veins from the insides of the peppers.
- Brown the ground lamb and the spices in a skillet, breaking apart the meat as you cook. After it is well crumbled and no longer pink, remove it to a plate.
- Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan and sauté the onions and garlic for a few minutes, until translucent. Remove to the plate with the lamb.
- Add the pine nuts to the pan and toast, stirring almost constantly, until they turn golden. Add a touch of olive oil if the pan is dry.
- Add back the meat and onions to the pan, along with the cooked couscous, currants, and feta. Mix well, and season with salt and pepper to taste. I like to drizzle in a little pomegranate molasses, if you have some, but it's optional.
- Pour the tomato sauce into the bottom of a casserole dish that just fits your peppers. Arrange the peppers on top. Fill each pepper with the filling, pressing down slightly to insure each one is completely filled. Mound the filling up a bit at the top. Replace the tops loosely on the peppers.
- Cover the casserole dish and peppers with a sheet of foil. Crimp the foil along the sides of the pan so the peppers can steam. Bake for about one hour and 20 minutes, removing the foil for the last 20 minutes. The peppers should be tender and slightly browned.
- Serve with yogurt mint sauce on the side.
- To make the yogurt mint sauce, blend the ingredients together in a small food processor.