Thursday, April 11, 2024

Weekly Cooking Report April 11: Mexican Picadillo

This week we're going a little less fancy than the pepper crusted beef tenderloin with a Mexican Picadillo, which is essentially my grown up Manwich 

This one comes out every once in a while when we have ground beef and want something different with it. My baseline recipe is here but we have alterations. Those alterations don't make it any more complicated.  

So the shopping list is easy, as always - a pound of ground beef, a small onion, a large green bell pepper and 2-3 medium potatoes. Don't sweat the specifics sizes, it's not that kinda recipe. You'll also need 

  • 2 to 3 teaspoons garlic from the giant jar of minced or chopped cloves I told you to get
  • 1.5 cups of beef broth. If you get this with low sodium this will come out bland and you'll need to add extra salt at the end, so splurge on the salt in kind,
  • 8 oz of tomato sauce and some tomato paste for extra body - we really feel the tomato paste helps. 
  • 1 tsp each of salt, ground black pepper, cumin and coriander. I like the extra black pepper, you may want to stick with the 1/4 tsp. You should also add one bay leaf to round the flavor out, just remember to remove it before serving. 
  • Some rice or flour tortillas or both.

To prep the veggies I use one of these, which the family refers to as a 'shunker-shunker' and is damn helpful for getting things diced or chopped to a consistent size. Highly recommended. Plus since all the veggies go in at once you can just keep everything in the collection tray and drop it in at once. 

First, get the rice started per the instructions on the rice box. I used white rice but if you have some Mexican yellow rice mix, that works great too. 

Plunk the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until it's mostly browned. Once it's, say, 75% browned drain the grease off (NOT INTO YOUR SINK! Find a can or bowl or something) and return to heat. Toss the veggies in and let cook for about 8 minutes, stirring regularly. The add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. 

Finally pour in the tomato sauce, broth, and all the spices. Stir, bring it to a simmer, and cover. Leave it for 10 minutes, check, and if the potatoes aren't soft and you still have a lot of liquid, leave it for longer. You want the potatoes to smoosh under a fork and most of the liquid gone. 

The rice should be done right about now as well. Remove everything from heat and serve to a grateful family. 

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