Cuban Picadillo

This weeks travel destination is Cuba, a place I have not yet visited but would like to travel to someday.

We located Cuba on a map and learned that the tiny island next to it is called Isla de la Juventud. We looked at the flag which is blue and white stripes with a white star in a red diamond. We also looked at where in the world Cuba it is located in relations to our hometown of San Francisco.

We tried to determine how long it takes to get to Cuba from San Francisco. Since there appear to be no direct flights it takes about 9 hours as you have to go thru Miami.

The beaches and colonial architecture look amazing and so does the food, culture and music . Cuban music has a great beat and sound and includes lots of great instruments and provided a great background for us while we cooked

The dish we made this week is called Picadillo. It is made with ground beef and has a melange of flavors coming from the spices used along with the olives capers and raisins. It is quick and easy to make and very very tasty.

To make Picadillo, heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 chopped onion and 1 chopped bell pepper and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add 1 can of tomato paste, 4 cloves of finely chopped garlic, 2 teaspoons of cumin, 2 teaspoons of oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and and cook until fragrant and tomato paste darkens in color, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of red wine and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes.

Add ground beef and cook, stirring and breaking up chunks, until no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in 1 can of tomatoes, 2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, 1/3 cup of raisins, 1/2 cup olives plus 2Tablespoons of brine, 2 Tablespoons capers and 2 small cubed potatoes. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes.

Remove cover and season to taste with salt and pepper

Serve over white rice and enjoy with a tasty red wine such as Merlot.

Buen Provecho!

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