Everyone has been waiting for me to crack open the family safe and publish some of my grandmother's recipes. The problem is that they are too complicated for this day and age and people just don't have the time to cook like that. Recipes nowadays have been simplified and shortened and, in most cases, they taste just as good.
Serves 6-8 (depending if they are Cuban or American!)Cooking time: 60 minutes
3 TB olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, mashed
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 green pepper, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 lb ground meat, preferably chuck (80-20)
3 oz. tomato paste
1/2 cup dry white Vermouth or dry white wine
1/2 C water
1 tsp.Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup pimiento stuffed olives
1/2 cup of raisins
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet and in medium heat, sautee the garlic, onion, green pepper and bay leaf in the olive oil for about 15- 20 minutes. Add and brown the meat. Turn heat down to medium low. Add the tomato paste, the wine and the water. Bring to a slight boil, and reduce temperature again to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 30 minute. If the liquid is absorbed, add more water 1/4 Cup at a time. While it simmers, cut the pimiento stuffed olives in half. After the 30 minutes are up, remove the lid, add the olives (I add some of the olive brine) and the raisins and cook, uncovered, in a slow simmer for another 15 minutes. Adjust the seasonings. I like my picadillo runny. Here again, everybody is different. If you like it dry, control the water you add to the tomato paste. Serve over fluffy, white rice.
If you really want to be Cuban, fry an egg or two, lay it over the white rice, and put the picadillo on the side. My favorites with this dish are fried ripe bananas, a beer and a siesta.
Leftovers can be frozen or saved to make what my family calls Pigs in a Blanket coming up next on the blog.