Kumato Tomatoes Stuffed with Beef, Fresh Herbs, Pine Nuts and Dried Currants

I am a big fan of tomatoes, in any shape or form, and I’m always looking for new varieties. With fresh summer tomatoes gone by now, the next option is to check which hothouse tomatoes are available at the store. When I saw the brownish-dark red Kumato tomatoes, I had to give them a try.
I later learned that they are a hybrid from Spain, have firm texture and sweet, juicy taste. I used them a couple of times in salads, combined with other types of tomatoes and vegetables, where they added their special color and flavor.
I then decided to use them in a cooked dish, and came up with the dish you have here. The tomatoes were very easy to scoop and stuff, and kept their shape nicely, though unfortunately, they lost most of their interesting color while cooking. The stuffing, with fresh herbs, pine nuts and dried currants, complemented their sweetish flavor beautifully.
As I ended up with more stuffing than I could use with the few tomatoes I’ve had, I rolled the rest of it into small meatballs, and cooked them along with the stuffed tomatoes. The dish was tasty and hearty, though not heavy at all. Try it and enjoy.

* If you can’t get Kumato tomatoes, any medium size firm tomatoes can be used instead.
* Since the Kumato are not as acidic as most tomatoes, there was no need to add a bit of sugar to the sauce. However, if you use any other type, adjust the flavors accordingly.

Makes: 6-8
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Braising time: 40 minutes

6 Kumato tomatoes (see notes)
1 medium white onion
1 Tbs olive oil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground four peppers mix
¼ jalapeno, deseeded, sliced
½ cup light beef or chicken stock
For the stuffing:
10.5 oz (300 grams) beef chuck, cut into small cubes
A handful of parsley leaves
A handful of mint leaves
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground four peppers mix
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs breadcrumbs
1 Tbs pine nuts
1 Tbs dried currants

1. Cut off the tomatoes tops, and scoop out the pulp and seeds. Keep it for the sauce.
2. Chop half of the onion roughly, and place in a large pan. Add the tomatoes scrapes, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix. Place over medium-high heat and cook, mixing occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the jalapeño and mix. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Keep in a warm place.

3. Place the remaining half onion in a small food processor, fitted with the metal blade. Add the meat, parsley, mint, salt, pepper, olive oil and bread crumbs and chop coarsely together. Transfer to a medium bowl, and add the pine nuts and dried currants. Mix well.

4. Stuff the tomatoes with half of the mixture, and create small meatballs with the rest.

5. Place the stuffed tomatoes and meatballs on top of the sauce in the pan. Add the stock, cover the pan and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 15 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 250F (120C). Place the covered pan in it and braise for 40 minutes. Uncover the pan and place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes (if you don’t have a broiler, you can skip this step). Serve warm, with white rice.

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