This sauce is a nice change from tomato sauce—actually, we hardly ever eat tomato sauce, but we’re not normal. The roasted pepper sauce is mild and sweet, but if your peppers are red, you might just fool your family into thinking it’s made with tomatoes. I had a bunch of roasted red and yellow peppers in the freezer, but you could make roasting a part of the process, or you could use roasted peppers in a jar (or 2 jars). Another option would be to use both sweet bell peppers and some hot peppers.
I used long grain brown rice and some browned ground beef to make it a complete meal, but the sauce is the star here, and you can probably think of other ways to use it. Usually, I like to bake a rice casserole with rice that is already cooked, but I took a chance baking it all at the same time, today, and it worked out well.
I almost forgot to snap a picture of the finished dish, but grabbed a quick one—poorly focused—before it was all gone.
Baked Rice with Roasted Pepper Sauce
Preheat oven to 350°; butter a 2 quart casserole dish
1 large onion, chopped
5-6 roasted, peeled red, orange, and/or yellow bell peppers (about 2 cups chopped)
1-2 tablespoons grated garlic
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups beef or chicken stock, heated to a boil and set aside
1 cup long grain brown rice
1 lb ground beef
salt & pepper to taste
- Saute the onion and peppers in olive oil a large skillet over medium high heat until the vegetables soften and become translucent. Stir in the garlic and parsley and cook for a few minutes longer. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove the peppers and onions to a blender and add about 1/2 cup of the stock. Puree the vegetables, adding more stock if necessary to make a thick and fairly smooth sauce. Add the rest of the stock to the puree.
- In the same skillet, brown the ground beef over medium high heat, seasoning with salt and pepper. Stir in the rice and continue cooking and stirring until the rice has absorbed any liquid from the beef. This gives the rice a head start cooking.
- Pour the beef and rice into a buttered 2 quart casserole. Pour the pepper sauce with all the stock over the beef mixture. Let the sauce settle or lightly stir, keeping the rice and beef submerged in the sauce. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour. Check to see if the rice is done, adding more time, if needed. Mine looked pretty well done after 1 hour, but I am suspicious of baked rice and let it go another 15 mins.
I said 6-8 servings but then my husband ate it all—except my one serving