Gefilte Paprika by Judi Rose with Evelyn Rose

Gefilte Paprika, Reproduced with kind thanks to Pavilion, extracted from 100 Best Jewish Recipes, Modern Classics, From Every Day Meals to Food for Special Occasions

Stuffed Peppers, Hungarian style

Serves 4–6

Keeps for 3 days in the fridge | Freezes for 2 months

This recipe is a more sophisticated version than often found – note the wine in the sauce, reflecting the cuisine soignée (‘cooking with care’), typical of this part of Europe.

For the sauce

1 onion, chopped

1 tbsp oil

150g/5oz tomato purée

275ml/10fl oz hot water

3 tbsp demerara sugar

3 tbsp lemon juice

½ tsp mixed spice or ground cinnamon

150ml/5fl oz white wine (optional but nice) or water

For the peppers and stuffing

4–6 squat sweet red peppers

1 egg, beaten

1 onion, grated

1 tsp salt

½ tsp mustard

1 tsp paprika

450g/1lb lean minced beef

2 tsp matzah meal or porridge oats

If the peppers are to be stewed on top of the stove, use the same pan to make the sauce. Fry the onion in the oil until soft and golden. Add all the remaining ingredients. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Slice off and retain the tops of the peppers and remove the seeds and ribs. Put into a saucepan and pour boiling water over the top, then leave for 5 minutes. Mix the egg, onion salt, mustard and paprika. Then mix in the meat and meal.

Drain the peppers on kitchen paper, then stuff with the meat mixture and cover each pepper with its top. Put into the pan in which the sauce is simmering. Cover with foil, and then with the lid of the pan. Simmer gently for 1 hour, basting twice. When done, the sauce will be thick and the peppers tender.

Alternatively, cook in the oven at 170°C/325°F/Gas 3 for 1½ hours.

To cook in the microwave, mix the sauce ingredients in a jug and cook uncovered on 100 per cent (1000W) power for 3 minutes or until bubbling. Arrange the stuffed peppers in a 3l/5 pint deep, lidded casserole large enough to hold the peppers side by side. Pour the sauce round them and cook on 100 per cent (1000W) power for 6 minutes, or until bubbling, then reduce to 40 per cent power and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the peppers feel tender when pierced with a sharp knife. Stand for 5 minutes before serving.