Monday 13 August 2018
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mini-sweet-peppers-recipeROASTER PRO RECIPE


Your West Bend 5-Quart Slow Cooker, some fresh out-of-the-garden small, sweet peppers and your favorite ground beef. This Roaster Recipe for the Roaster Pro Perfect Stuffed Pepper Stew and a loaf of Italian bread. Add in some herb butter and you are on your way to a warm, comforting meal that everyone will request over and over again.  

I have always loved peppers. Any pepper. My favorite, however, is the small sweet peppers that grow plentiful in most gardens. My mother was a fabulous cook and was indeed a master with these little morsels, that, quite frankly, over ran our garden with intent. The ways she used them throughout our meals seemed limitless and are now one of my favorite ingredients in a lot of my dishes because of her. One of my favorite dishes growing up was mother’s Perfect Stuffed Pepper Stew.

5-quart-cookerHERE’S WHAT YOU DO


First let me say that I am not sure if what I am about to give you is a recipe or a process. This stew, called by the same name as what you might know as stuffed pepper soup, is mom’s creation on the same dish but so different it is called stew instead of soup. I might add that I have yet to be disappointed by this hearty dish and I hope you will enjoy it as much I did way back then and still do to this day.

Grab your West Bend 5 Quart Slow Cooker or a Roaster that will accommodate the size cooking vessel that you will need for your number of guests. When I am preparing this dish for Sunday afternoon football games, and there are about twenty people expected throughout the day, I use my Nesco Roaster and double the recipe.

This is the ‘recipe’ my mother wrote down for me after my grandma had passed away. It was the recipe that she (my grandmother) had taught my mother as a young girl and the way I learned to make the Perfect Roaster Pro Stuffed Pepper Stew.


Grab twenty or so small, sweet peppers. Any color. Every color. Wash them up and cut off a cap. Using a small paring knife, clean the peppers of their seeds and small, light membranes.  Rinse in cool water and stand up on a tea towel to drain and dry.

Remove the stems from the caps and chop the pepper caps very small. Chop a small onion, or a few scallions from the garden, greens and all, again very small, and add to the chopped pepper caps. Set aside.

Prepare your West Bend 5 Quart Slow Cooker and set to medium high heat. Add about 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the cooker and cover with the lid.

hamburger for the roaster pro stuffed pepper stew

pic credit – pixabay

Use 2 pounds of your favorite ground beef. Brown One pound, in a skillet with a bit of olive oil, breaking it up very small. Add 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper while browning the meat. Remove the browned meat from the heat and drain the oil. Put your browned meat into the roaster.

Add: Grandma’s ‘Secret’ Red Sauce

  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 ‘tomato paste’ can of boiling water
  • 1 ‘tomato paste’ can of beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon both dried basil and dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon both salt and pepper

wooden-spoonsUsing a long handled wooden spoon, combine all ingredients well. (Grandma’s instructions read ‘mix it up good.’)

Wash three medium green peppers. Cut the tops off each and clean of seeds and membranes. Rinse in cool water. Take the stems from the caps and rinse peppers caps as well. Chop the green peppers into bite sized pieces and toss them in the roaster with the stew. Stir them into the juices. Put the lid back on the cooker and turn the heat to medium.


Next, in a large bowl, combine the second pound of ground beef, the small chopped sweet pepper caps and onions, that you set aside earlier, one cup minute rice (uncooked), two large egg (or three small) and one sleeve of pulverized saltines. (“smashed to dust with a rolling pin” were grandma’s words.) Mix together with clean hands. (This is the exact meat mixture used in Porcupine Ball Stew.)

Now take the cleaned and dried little peppers. Each little pepper should be relatively the same size. I cut mine to about one and 1/2  to 2 inches in size. After you have cut your stuffing peppers to size, cut their remaining top portions in half. They should pretty much be bite size, but in case they are not, cut them to that size now. Then toss them all into the stew and replace the lid on the cooker.


Stuff each of the little peppers about half way with the meat mixture. With a small paring knife, pierce a small hole in the bottom of each pepper and set them aside.

mini-meatballsWith the rest of the meat mixture, create small meatballs, about half the size of a golf ball. (The same size meatballs one might use in Wedding Soup)

Once the meatballs are complete, carefully remove the lid from your roaster and put them all in the stew. Using your wooden spoon, carefully mix into the sauce.

Stand your peppers upright and gently push them into the stew mixture. (It’s okay if they fall over. It won’t matter much in the grande scheme of things.) Toss in a bay leaf and replace the lid. Cook the stuffed pepper stew for 2 hours on medium heat.

Reduce the heat to low and remove the lid. Continue cooking for one hour more. Serve with warm bread and herb butter.


meatballsMy mother would always make another pound of meat mixture and create the little meat balls for freezing. She used one gallon zip lock baggies. These little meatball are great in any pasta dish and, when she made this particular dish again, she would simply drop them in, frozen, at the beginning of the cooking process.

My sister also uses the same recipe to make her meatball appetizers. Once the meatballs are finished, she uses miniature, plastic forks and stands the meatballs on a platter with small squats of red sauce on the side for dipping.  It’s always a hit at showers or parties around a camp fire.

mini-meatball-subsMy oldest sister uses this recipe for football Sundays and she makes mini meatball subs with the red sauce and mozzarella cheese. And, I must admit, they are excellent.

When creating the Roaster Pro Perfect Porcupine Ball Stew, the meatballs will be formed just slightly larger that a golf ball.

However you choose to serve these little meatballs, I’m sure they will be a hit.

I have highlighted the cooking vessels and utensil, that I employ when making this dish, for your convenience. Enjoy Your Cooking Experience!

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