Brown the ground beef in a skillet with the onion and jalapeno (if using)
Drain well, blotting away excess fat
Add cooked rice, beef mixture, tomatoes, mint,lemon peel, salt and pepper to a bowl
If you want the filling to be more compact you can add a beaten egg to the rice mixture before stuffing peppers
You can stuff the peppers one of two ways, either cut them in half vertically and stuff each half or just cut the tops off and stuff the whole thing upright.
Fill the cavity of the peppers with the rice mixture, don't pack it too tight
Place the peppers upright in a baking pan, for halves place them with the filling mounded upwards
Pour 1/2 cup V-8 juice around the peppers - it should come just a little way up the sides but not cover the halves
Cover pan with foil
Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes, remove the foil for the last 10 minutes
Let cool slightly before serving
Use the whole peppers stuffed. Place in the crockpot upright and pour 1/4 cup of V-8 in the crockpot. Cook on low for 6 hours.
For Top of the Stove
Use the halves. Place filled pepper halves in a large pan and add V-8 to cover the bottom of the pan by an inch. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until done, adding more juice as needed.
You can use condensed tomato soup in place of the tomatoes and V-8. It makes a thicker, sweeter sauce. Just add 1/2 can of tomato soup to the rice mixture before stuffing peppers and continue with directions. When the peppers are almost done mix the remaining 1/2 can soup with 1 teaspoon Worcestershire and mix well. Heat thoroughly and spoon over the peppers before serving.
My mom used to make it with a can of condensed tomato soup. I prefer to use diced tomatoes in the rice and meat mixture. It is just lighter, more flavorful, and more natural than what mom used. If you want to use tomato soup in it read the notes at the bottom of the recipe.
Use ground beef, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, venison, game, or leave the meat out and go vegan. Mom said in the Depression they made them with chopped walnuts sometimes.
To make in a slow cooker just put about 1/4 cup V-8 juice or water in the bottom of the slow cooker and add the peppers. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
To make in a dutch oven you'll add liquid to the bottom of the pan, add your green peppers, cover, and simmer for about an hour.
Top each pepper with a spoonful of tomato sauce or tomato soup about 15 minutes before they're ready to come out of the oven.
You can assemble these ahead of time and keep them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before cooking.
You can make these ahead of time and freeze for up to 6 months.