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Beef And Rice Filling

Created by jclawson, Monday, 06 December 2010


Double or triple this versatile filling and freeze it in small batches for future meals of stuffed peppers, tomatoes, onions, acorn squash, or zucchini. The recipe is from a lighthearted new book, The Sicilian Gentleman’s Cookbook ($19.95, Firefly Books) by Don Baratta. It’s filled with memories, observations, and recipes for simple Sicilian classics. The olives add tang, the nutmeg adds flavor, and the egg helps hold it together.


At a glance
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
Medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon oregano
1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup cooked rice
10 pitted green olives, chopped
1/4-teaspoon nutmeg
Salt, pepper to taste
1 egg, well beaten


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet with a tight-fitting cover and then saute the garlic, onion, and oregano in the oil. Add the beef when the onion becomes translucent. Stir and cover. Reduce heat and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Remove the cover and allow juices to evaporate. The author then transfers the mixture to a mixing bowl, but I make the entire recipe in a non-stick skillet for easier cleanup. Turn off the stove. Stir in the cooked rice, olives, nutmeg, salt, and pepper, and mix well. Next, stir in the egg and mix until the filling is moist and solid. If it’s too dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time until it firms up.

The mixture is now ready to be scooped up and used to fill the vegetables (parboiled if necessary) that you choose to stuff and bake. All this can be done early in the day and then baked just before serving.

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