This meal cooks in about 45 minutes. It is a one pan meal so it does not require much clean up. It tastes best if made the morning before eating or even the day before. It warms really well in the oven.
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
2 large sweet banana peppers, sliced into rings
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and diced
1 cup jasmine rice, uncooked
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups beef broth OR 1 1/2 cups water with 2 teaspoons bouillon
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
In a large skillet, saute the ground beef until fully cooked. Break it into small pieces as it cooks. Add the garlic and onion. Saute another 3-5 minutes. Add the peppers, cook another 3-5 minutes.
Add the uncooked rice. Saute another 5 minutes stirring often. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, paprika, thyme, black pepper, and Worcestershire. Bring to a boil. Stir. Cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to low or just above (maintain a slow simmer). Simmer for 25-30 minutes. Do not lift lid and stir while cooking unless it appears that the water has all disappeared.
After 25 minutes, lift lid and fluff. Test the rice to make sure it is tender. If it is not, cook another 3-5 minutes and add water if needed. When finished, remove the lid and allow it to sit without stirring much for 5-10 minutes. Stirring too much when just cooked with cause the rice to become mushy.
Place the mixture in a prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese (optional). At this point, either move to the oven or refrigerate.
Bake in a 350 degree oven covered for 30 minutes.