When newcomers grocery shop for the first time in Peru, they nearly always mistake the fiery hot rocoto pepper for a regular red bell pepper. They are very similar in appearance, and for some reason they are always side by side in the stores and markets, and sometimes get mixed up in the bins. Biting into a super spicy rocoto pepper when you're expecting a sweet bell pepper can be a shock!
In Peru this recipe is made with rocotos, but they are difficult to find in the US. Red bell peppers work well as a substitute.. You can up the spiciness by including more hot peppers in the seasoned beef filling.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 chile peppers (anaheim or similar), seeds and veins removed, chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 pound ground beef
- 3/4 cup beef broth
- 1 hard boiled egg, coarsly chopped
- 1/3 cup sliced black olives
- 1 cup crumbled queso fresco
- 4 red bell peppers
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them plump in the water for 10 minutes.
- Sauté the chopped onions, garlic, and peppers in the olive oil until soft and fragrant.
- Add the cumin and paprika and cook 2 minutes more, stirring. Add the ground beef and cook until browned.
- Drain the raisins and add them to the ground beef. Add the beef broth and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until most of the liquid is gone.
- Stir in the hard boiled egg and the black olives. Season mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove beef mixture from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco.
- While the beef is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Slice the tops off of the peppers and reserve. Clean the inside of the peppers, removing the seeds and veins.
- Cook the peppers in the boiling water until bright red and just tender, about 8 - 10 minutes. Drain peppers and blot dry with paper towels.
- Fill each pepper with some of seasoned ground beef mixture. Top with remaining queso fresco.
- Place the peppers on a baking sheet, with the tops alongside them (but not covering the filling). Bake the peppers for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the filling is heated through.
- Serve warm.