A classic and delicious filling for roasted peppers that shows the Moorish influence on Spanish cuisine. Shredded pork is delicately flavoured with aromatics, dried fruit and nuts. Traditionally, the chillies are simmered in the aromatic tomato sauce, but here we made a thicker sauce and simply spooned it over the top.
- 6 banana or bullhorn chillies (see Note)
- 400 g cooked and shredded pork neck (see Note)
- ½ onion, finely diced
- 3 whole allspice (see Note)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ cinnamon quill
- 1 tsp salt
- 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock
- 1 tomato, finely diced
- ¼ cup chopped almonds, plus extra to garnish
- ¼ cup chopped raisins
- ¼ cup chopped parsley, plus extra to garnish
- vegetable oil, to shallow fry
- 4 tomatoes
- 1 small white onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 6 sprigs thyme
- 6 black peppercorns
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 3 eggs, separated
- 75 g (½ cup) plain flour
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To prepare the chillies, set your largest burner to high and char the chillies directly over the flame for 2–3 minutes until well blackened. Try to do this as quickly as possible, as the chillies can become difficult to handle if cooked until completely soft. Place chillies in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to steam for 10 minutes (this helps to loosen the skin). Remove chillies from the bowl and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, combine the pork, onion, allspice, bay leaves, garlic, cinnamon and salt in a medium-size saucepan. Pour over the stock, bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 5 mins until the stock has reduced and thickened slightly. Remove the cinnamon, bay leaves and allspice, return the pan to the heat with the tomato, chopped almonds and raisins and continue to cook until most of the stock has been absorbed but the mixture is still moist. Add the parsley and season to taste. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
For the sauce, place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, thyme and peppercorns in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain and discard the solids. Heat the oil in a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the pureed tomato and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Season to taste and set aside.
Gently remove the skin from the chillies working carefully to avoid tearing the flesh. Slit the chillies down one side beginning 1.5 cm from the stem and finishing 2 cm from the tip. Gently remove the seeds and membrane and discard. Stuff the chillies with the pork mixture being careful not to overfill (the edges of the chillies should still be able to come together).
To prepare the batter, whisk the egg whites and salt to soft peaks. Whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time, until combined.
Heat 2 cm oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Lightly dust the chillies in flour then, by holding the stem, dip in the batter and gently lower into the oil. Cook the chillies in 2 or 3 batches for 1 minute on each side until golden and crisp. Remove from the frying and drain on paper towel.
Gently reheat the tomato sauce. Arrange the chillies on a serving platter and pour the sauce over the top. Scatter with extra almonds and parsley and serve immediately.
• Banana or bullhorn chillies are long, mild capsicums that come in different colours. Select the largest size available as they are easier to stuff.
• This recipe can be made with either pork or beef mince instead of the shredded pork neck by simply browning the mince before combining it with the stock.
Photographs by Benito Martin. Styling by Jerrie-Joy Redman-Lloyd.