Ok folks, here is another Cuban inspired recipe with a new Paleo twist. Picadillo comes from the Spanish word “picar” which means to mince or chop. Picadillo is Latin America’s version of a hash that is made with ground beef, tomatoes and spices. I love this recipe for three reasons:
1. The most obvious reason is because it reminds me of my Mama’s (my grandmother) cooking. I LOVE Cuban food. Anything Mama cooked that was fried, pork, beef, or served with rice and beans I was all over it. No wonder I was a little heffer growing up. My dad used to call me “Cara de Luna” which translates to Moon Face. What a term of endearment, wouldn’t you say?!?!
2. Second reason this Paleo Picadillo is AWESOME is because it uses my new favorite fall ingredient…butternut squash. Have I mentioned that Cosco sells 2lbs of already peeled and chopped, organic butternut squash for only $3.99??? For those of you who know me, you know this girl loves a bargain. So because it is Über healthy (rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants and packs a lot of fiber and potassium) AND its inexpensive, I am trying to find as many recipes as I can that uses butternut squash. Do you blame me? It’s cheap and I don’t have to get squash hands from peeling? Sign me up; it’s a win win. Last week alone I cooked over 6lbs of butternut squash. I am not exaggerating. Yum.
3. Lastly, I love to try and cook different international dishes. I love the Irish year round and not just on St. Patrick’s Day. The reason I bring this up is because this recipe actually reminds me of Shepard’s Pie. My dear college roommate, Serene, is going to marry a hunky Irish man, Collin, this upcoming summer and when I made this dish it made me think of him and his Gaelic roots. So if you are a fan of Shepard’s Pie, you will like this new Paleo twist that was inspired by this recipe I found awhile back. Good luck and happy cooking!
- 2lb of lean ground beef (I use 96%)
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons of chili powder
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1 ¼ teaspoon of oregano
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 2 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes (with juice)
- ¾ cups of Spanish green olives, drained (I used Goya Alcaparrado which is a mixture of olives and pimentos)
- ¼ cup of dried apricots, chopped
- ¼ cup of whole raisins
- 2 medium butternut squashes, peeled and chopped into cubes (yields about 8 cups).
- (I only had one 2lb package of butternut squash and I wish I had enough to double it. The butternut squash added such a great flavor and texture to the meal that I wish I had 4lbs of butternut squash rather than 2lbs but again I LOVE BUTTERNUT SQUASH)
- 2 tablespoons of coconut or olive oil
- 3 tablespoons of almond flour
- 1 egg beaten
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
- Peel, de-seed and chop your butternut squash. Coat with melted coconut oil or olive oil and sprinkle ¼ teaspoon of oregano and roast for 35-40 minutes until soft. Midway through the baking process stir the butternut squash to avoid burning.
- While the butternut squash is roasting, heat a sauté pan with olive or coconut oil and brown the beef.
- After about 5 minutes, cook onions, garlic and peppers until the onions are translucent. Add spices (remainder of the oregano, cumin, salt and chili powder) and mix evenly.
- Once the beef is almost browned and vegetables are somewhat soft, add the tomatoes, olives, apricots and raisins. Stir and bring to boil.
- Take the meat mixture off the heat and spread it in a greased 3 quart cooking dish and set aside. Note, I had a lot of extra liquid in the pan so I drained the meat and vegetables when putting it in the Pyrex cooking pan. Your preference of course, I was just afraid too much liquid would make the dish soggy. It's your call.
- Reset oven temperature to 375 degrees and with a hand masher or big fork mash the butternut squash along with the egg and almond flour.
- Spread the butternut squash on top of the beef mixture and bake in the 375 degree oven for 40 minutes.
So I know I say every meal I blog about is amazing but how did this Cuban Picadillo fare in your Casa? Was it as good as I said? Buen Provecho!
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