Sweet Peppers Sautéed with Chopped Meat: Easy farm-style late summer supper

Sweet Peppers Sautéed with Chopped Meat: Easy farm-style late summer supper

Gardens in Athens are full right now with late summer produce, and days are still warm and lazy, and our movement is still restricted by Covid. Hunkered down and cooking a lot is one of the activities available.

Our son-in-law, Jason, gave us a bunch of sweet long peppers, both red and green, plus sweet potatoes from his garden. I was not inclined to long or fancy cooking at home. I do plenty of that at the restaurant.

The peppers, cored, sliced and fried with a little onion, garlic, chopped meat (pork in this case, but lamb would be my preference if it were available) and simple seasoning sautéed up into a very bright and satisfying dish served with the roasted sweet potatoes plus some sliced fresh local tomatoes. No exotic seasonings, much as I love them, seemed appropriate to this farmhouse super. It was a bit like what my mother made decades ago when I was a kid.

The recipe will serve 4-6, depending on the amount of starchy side dish. Roasted sweet potatoes worked well, but so should baked potatoes, or a rice dish or a noodle dish – or quinoa?

6 large long sweet peppers, half green and half red (or 2 each red and green bell peppers)
1/2 small onion
1 large clove garlic
1 pound ground pork or lamb, not too fatty
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar

De-stem and remove cores and seeds from peppers. Cut into thin (1/8-inch) strips and cut to no longer than 1-inch long. Dice onion. Mince garlic.

Combine vegetables with ground meat in a frying pan and cook, stirring often and scraping the bottom of the pan, until meat changes color. Add pepper, salt and lemon juice or vinegar. Stir and fry for several more minutes. Taste and add a little salt, if needed, to taste.

If desired, spoon meat mixture off with a slotted spoon so as to leave excess grease behind. The dish can be served now or refrigerated and reheated for serving later.

Serve hot with roasted sweet potato or potato (quickest cooked in the microwave), or a rice dish or noodles. Accompany with a fresh salad for a summertime supper treat.

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