Is this cold weather getting you down? In the middle of what is already feeling like an endless winter, all I want to eat is hearty soups and stews. My beef chili is a favorite around these parts. And I am all about a big bowl of spaghetti with bolognese. This ground beef recipe is a twist on chili or stew.
Picadillo is a Cuban comfort food. It’s got a lot of warmth from the cinnamon and bit of the sweet and sour thing from the raisins and briny green olives. The recipe I followed from the New York Times included chorizo, but I decided a heaping spoonful of smoked paprika would give the dish the smokey flavor the chorizo would bring to the party. Traditionally served over rice, I served it over better-for-you cauliflower rice. Make this dish instead of your usual go-to chili– it does not disappoint!
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and crushed
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 bay leaves
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of nutmeg
2/3 cup raisins
2/3 cup pitted pimento-stuffed green olives
Put the olive oil in a large, heavy pan set over a medium-high flame, and heat until it begins to shimmer. Add onions, garlic and smoked paprika, stir to combine and cook until the onions have started to soften, approximately 10 minutes. Add the ground beef, and allow it to brown, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon as it does. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Add tomatoes, vinegar, cinnamon, cumin, bay leaves, cloves and nutmeg and stir to combine. Lower the heat, and let the stew simmer, covered, for approximately 30 minutes. Uncover the pan, and add the raisins and the olives. Allow the stew to cook for another 15 minutes or so, then serve, accompanied by white (or cauliflower) rice.