Wonderful Cuban recipe for one of the best meat dishes there is. I used to eat at this great mom and pop Cuban restaurant in my town and unfortunately they closed down. This was the closest I could get to their wonderful recipe !
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1⁄4 cup oil or 1⁄4 cup lard
- 1 green pepper, finely diced
- 2 large onions, finely diced
- 5 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1⁄3 cup cooking wine
- 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 2 lbs ground beef (or combination) or 2 lbs ground pork (or combination)
- 15 -20 whole pimento stuffed olives
- 1⁄3 cup raisins
- Mash the salt, pepper and garlic together in a mortar until well blended.
- Lightly brown this mixture in the lard/oil with the pepper and the onions until the onions become translucent.
- Add the tomato sauce and let it simmer for a minute.
- Add the vinegar.
- Add the meat and cook for 5-minutes.
- Add the cooking wine, olives and raisins.
- Simmer until liquid is absorbed (I usually let this simmer for around an hour or so on low, so the flavors meld together).
- Serve with rice and beans and a nice cold beer.
- Tastes even better the next day!
Terrific recipe! After reading the comments, I decided to try both methods of browning the meat first and/or putting it in as is in order to contribute to the debate. This was easy since I was already dividing the batch because DH hates olives :) The meat that was cooked in the sauce had a better texture, and the flavor was also better (the sauce didn't reach all the way in to the browned meat). I used ground turkey, so even the one that I didn't brown and drain was not a bit greasy. I think this would work with any lean meat (12% fat or less). I will make this recipe again as directed, however I did add two tsp. of Mexican Oregano and one tsp. Smoked Spanish Paprika to the vegetables about one minute before they were done.
This dish had such a great combo of flavors and textures! I used this recipe as a foundation and made adjustments based upon a few of these reviews and some other research I did. Instead of 1/4 cup oil, I only used 2 tbsp of olive oil to sauté the peppers, onions and minced garlic until softened. I then browned the meat in that mixture and drained the fat. In lieu of tomato sauce, I added a can of diced tomatoes and a 6oz. can of tomato paste. In addition to the salt and pepper, I threw in 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp dried cilantro, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp ground cloves and 4 bay leaves. I served this with yellow rice and black beans using one of the recipes suggested in the reviews (http://www.food.com/recipe/gatorbeks-cuban-pork-black-beans-and-yellow-rice-281298). This meal was featured in my blog - http://danasfoodblog.com/?p=1248.
I really liked the way this turned out, but I was a bit surprised that it didn't call for any herbs or spices except salt and pepper. (I think I will try out a few more recipes before settling on this one. I think I was expecting cumin, at least, although I don't know what is traditional.) I had 3 lb of meat, so I made an attempt to multiply by 1 1/2, although I only had one green pepper. The meat was something that Walmart labeled carne picada. It was a bit different, but good. I was a little worried about my tomato sauce. I used an 8 oz can of tomato sauce, but my 15 oz can was government "spaghetti sauce." It didn't seem to have any actual seasoning in it, so it worked out ok. I also used dried chopped figs instead of raisins, because I have pounds and pounds of them and am trying to use them up. They pretty much disintegrated and left behind their sweetness, which was fine because my family often complains about fruit in dinner. The dish simmered for about 2 hours.