Even if you’re not the next Ollie Dabbous, you can still put on a terrific feast for your raki table, the key is in choosing your dishes wisely. We have a recipe for a really authentic and utterly delicious Croatian dish that’s not only easy but also won’t have you slaving over a hot stove for hours. It’s called ‘Punjena paprika’ and consists of peppers stuffed with a mixture of minced meat and rice, vegetables and meat.
- 5 Hungarian peppers
- 450 g minced lamb
- 150 g uncooked long grain rice
- 80 ml water
- 1 egg
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/4 tsp hot paprika
- 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
- 1/4 tbsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp freshly-grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
- 5 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- Sprinkle of oregano
Carefully cut the top of the peppers, 4 centimetres around the stalk, and place to the side. Hollow out the pepper, removing all the seeds.
In a bowl, combine the lamb,rice, water, egg, spices and salt, pepper and stir well. Stuff the peppers with the mixture until they are completely filled, taking care not to rip or tear them.
Once stuffed, put the top of the pepper back on and arrange them in a deep saucepan with the open side on top. Make sure they’re touching to prevent them from flipping over in the pan.
Fill a jug with the water and stir in the tomato paste, oregano, salt and pepper then pour into the pan with the peppers, until they’re just covered. Add in the bay leave and bring to the boil. When it reaches boiling point, lower the heat and keep it simmering for approximately 45 minutes (until the rice and meat is cooked).