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Cuban Picadillo

Cuban Picadillo

30 MIN

Ground meat and poultry are perfect for weeknight cooking, but it’s so easy to get in a recipe rut with them. And while there is nothing wrong with meat sauce and chili and lettuce wraps, sometimes Wednesday deserves a little jazzing up. Enter Cuban Picadillo, which is like a combination of chili and sloppy joes and meat sauce and taco filling, made more interesting with warm spices, briny olives and raisins.

For the Kids

My kids, admittedly, both balk at the sight of olives in their food. To save myself the trouble of painstakingly forking out the sliced olives to appease them, I’ll keep the olives whole. This way, they can pick them out themselves. Or I will, if I’m feeling extra generous that evening. 😉

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lg onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Pinch allspice
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/3 cup pimento stuffed green olives, sliced or chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Chopped fresh cilantro

In a 10-inch deep skillet, brown beef over medium high heat, using a wooden spoon to crumble. Saute for 4 minutes, or until mostly cooked through. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic and saute 5 minutes. Season beef mixture with salt and pepper.

Add spices (cinnamon through allspice) and cook for 30 seconds. Add in the next 5 ingredients (tomato paste through bay leaves) and bring mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir in olives and raisins and cook 5 minutes more, or until mixture has reduced and thickens (you will still have liquid in the pan). Check for seasonings. Serve over brown rice. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Adapted from this New York Times version to be weeknight friendly.

Meal Prep Tips

Chop the onion, bell pepper, and garlic up to 4 days in advance. Store them tightly covered (together is fine) in the fridge. Steam brown rice up to 3 days in advance to have on hand for serving.

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