Ragu stuffed peppers

Arthur (almost 6 years old) was telling me that his wonderful teacher had explained to the class that it’s really awesome when you dare yourself to try a new food; something you used to dislike when you were younger. You know, when you were, like, 2 or something (!). Just to try it and see if your tastes had changed. He specified peppers, yellow peppers in particular, as the food of choice to which he would apply this theory. He seemed genuinely excited about it. Firstly, how awesome that his teacher has got through to him on this level and got him all eager to try a new veggie. Secondly, why the hell will he listen to her and not me?

The answer to that question is surely – who cares?!? He requested – yes REQUESTED – a meal with peppers in, so who am I to deny him? Seeing as I needed one more mince-based recipe for my Mince-piration series that I am currently doing for Costcutter, I thought stuffing them with a tomatoey ragu might be a nice idea. He really liked it, and even ate quite a bit of pepper. The other kid? Nah, hated the pepper, but, hey, she ate the ragu and the cauliflower cheese that it came with! That’s good enough for me.

The series is to highlight the lovely Independent range that is available from Costcutter. They sent me a lovely big hamper of fresh veggies, chopped tomatoes, spices, herbs, cheese – and 3 packets of mince – and asked me to come up with 3 easy midweek dinners. Why? Well, just to show that you can cook up a storm just by popping down to your local Costcutter and bagging a few basic ingredients. The range is really nice, been very impressed.

The other recipes in the series were Grilled cheesy meatballs with eggs and Kid-friendly chilli with cauliflower rice. Check ’em out – both went down really well and were a doddle to make.

Just a note to say, if you do make these stuffed peppers with the amounts below, you will have plenty of leftover ragu. Enough to make dinner of spag bol the following night. And also, if you do make cauli’ cheese to go with, then you will have leftover white sauce too – I whipped up a quick lasagne with the leftover ragu and béchamel. Next day’s dinner, sorted – all you need is some lasagne sheets.

Serves: 3 (there is enough ragu here to make double, just buy 3 more peppers)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients: 
1 tablespoon olive oil
500g mince
1 onion, diced
1 celery stick, diced
2 carrots, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
440g jar of tomato and chilli sauce (or passata)
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs

3 peppers (there is enough ragu to make 6)
Olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan. Soften onion, garlic, celery and carrot for about 10 minutes. Turn up heat and add mince to brown. Tip in sauce and swirl out jar with a little water – add that too, along with herbs. Bring to boil then simmer for 30 mins.
  2. Take top off peppers, and scoop out insides.
  3. Pop mince in each one, drizzle with oil and bake for about 20-30 mins, until the peppers are soft.
  4. To make the cauliflower cheese, I stripped the leaves and took out tough stalks then set aside the nice leaves. I steamed the cauliflower florets and leaves for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile I made a microwave white sauce. 500ml milk, 30g flour, 30g butter, heat on high for 7 mins, stirring every minute. Add cheese and season at the end. Drain cauliflower and tip over sauce, then grill on high for 5 minutes.
  5. Serve 1 pepper per person, with cauliflower cheese alongside.

Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post for Costcutter. All links are no follow and all opinions are my own. 

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