Stuffed Bell Peppers: featuring Stuart Ranch Meat Co Beef
This week Governor Kevin Stitt and the OK Dept of Agriculture Food and Forestry have proclaimed March 22-26 as #AllMeatWeek to celebrate all of Oklahoma’s farmers and ranchers. Growing up participating in FFA, there is one phrase that stuck with me time and time again... “If you eat, you ARE involved in agriculture”. I ran into this phrase at all sorts of FFA events and no matter if I was giving a speech at a Public Speaking event, showing my steers at a stock show, participating in a meat judging contest, I knew that phrase couldn't help but be an absolute truth. Being involved in the grocery industry I know that I pay attention to what is happening in agriculture because I know it directly influences and impacts what is happening in our stores at the retail and wholesale levels. I have spent a lot of time talking about this on my social media pages this past year in Covid 19 specific terms but I hope that all of our experiences this past year have us all looking to the agriculture industry with even much more appreciation than usual.
In honor of this week, I will be posting some great dishes featuring the locally grown and raised beef from the Stuart Ranch Meat Company that we carry in both of our grocery stores. Remember... if you eat, you are involved in agriculture, so I thought what better way to mark the week than to be cooking some scrumptious beef up that is raised just down the road from us? To kick things off, I wanted to start with a little spin off of a recipe I grew up with. This was a recipe that my Mom used to make for our family routinely, a very simple but very satisfying dinner! I dressed it up a bit but it’s definitely a tried and true classic in my family.
To start, select 4-6 nice sized bell peppers, I like to pick ones that are as wide at the base as they are at the top if I can. These larger peppers are prime for stuffing. Cut off the tops (chop and set aside) and get as much of the membrane and all of the seeds out.
In a large mixing bowl, I prepped my Stuart Ranch Meat Company ground beef with a couple cloves of garlic, one medium diced yellow onion, one egg, one pack of McCormick brand meatloaf seasoning, some fresh pico de gallo, a handful of chopped cilantro, 1/2 cup of shredded cheese, the chopped bell pepper tops and one cup of minute rice. Once mixed thoroughly, take a spoon and stuff your bell peppers with your meat mixture. Place these stuffed peppers in a baking dish or Dutch oven (I love my cast iron Le Crueset Dutch oven). Fill the bottom of the dish with a cup of water or chicken broth.
Take one 14 oz can of tomato sauce and mix in one packet of McCormick branch brown gravy mix. Once mixed pour over the top of your stuffed peppers. Cover your baking dish with foil or place the lid on your Dutch oven and cook at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour.
Serve with a fresh garden salad, oven roasted asparagus and some white rice and you have a simple and delicious dinner. If your kiddos aren’t big fans of bell peppers, use my meatloaf meatball trick and form your meat mixture into meatballs, place inside an aluminum cupcake liner in a cupcake pan, top with ketchup and bake at 375 for 25 minutes.
I hope you spend this week enjoying wonderful dishes with some amazing locally grown and produced beef or other food items. Oklahoma is a special place that is filled with so many farmers and ranchers, please take some time this week and show them your appreciation and support!!! #AgDoesntStop and neither shoudl we, lets rally around this incredible industry and show them how much we care!!! #MeatAllWeek