Veggie-Pumped Picadillo--Tax Day Meat Stretching
A flavorful hearty main dish of ground meat and vegetables, seasoned with raisins, olives and sherry. Served over rice, this is a family-friendly way to stretch a pound of ground meat and use loads of vegetables.
My spouse eats a lot of olives during his deployments. He tells me it's a combination of wanting to eat more vegetables yet not trusting the safety of the raw veggies available. He returns from deployments dumping Tabasco on everything and asking me to fry eggs (only powdered "scrambled" eggs in theatre) and buy olives. Lots of olives.
If you had asked before my spouse ever deployed to the Middle East if I liked olives, I would have told you a resounding "No!". I'd tried but not liked black olives on a pizza, and I'd avoid green olives on a relish tray because I tarred them with the same
Insert your own Dr. Seuss reference here. I've already done a Dr Seuss-themed post.With my new-found love of green olives, their use in a recipe from my mom's old cookbook caught my eye. I thought I could change it up (brown 1 pound of ground beef in 1 cup of oil? really?) and it would be an excellent way to throw in extra put up veggies to stretch meat. The result is sort of like "weird sloppy joes" according to my kids. Unusual, but tasty all the same.
If you've waited until the last minute to file your taxes because you are not anticipating a refund, consider this recipe as a different way to stretch a pound of ground meat. It works with beef, chicken, lamb, turkey, probably even venison. Please note that this recipe calls for marinating the meat for a couple of hours before cooking. You could do this in the morning and leave it in the fridge for the day, or throw it together in the afternoon if you are around.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2/3 cup (160 ml) dry sherry, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 Tablespoon oil
- 1 cup diced onion (these veggies can be fresh or frozen/thawed)
- 1 cup diced green pepper
- 1 cup finely shredded zucchini
- 1 cup chopped blend of carrot/celery/onion/chard stems
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 cup chopped green olives
- 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 2 tomato paste cans of water
- 1/2 cup sliced or chopped almonds
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- hot cooked rice
- In a medium bowl, mix beef, 1/3 cup dry sherry, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 2-8 hours.
- When you're ready to cook, preheat a pretty purple pot with oil over medium heat.
- Sauté the veggies (onion through olives) for 8-10 minutes until softened. Add meat, stir to combine, cover and cook 5 minutes. Drain fat.
- Stir in olives, tomato paste, water, almonds and raisins. Reduce heat and simmer 1 hour, partially covered (I rest the lid slightly askew), stirring occasionally.
- Stir in remaining sherry and serve over hot cooked rice.
- Serves a bunch and the leftovers keep well.
*I know you're thinking "What? Ordering a pizza?" Yes. We were in the midst of moving (500 miles, our shortest move thus far) and in addition we'd bought a gas stove and a house. We donated the electric stove that came with the house so it was gone, but the gas line didn't get hooked up in the kitchen for a few weeks. So yes, he ordered a pizza. I'm grateful for the opportunity to learn I love green olives.Clever Chicks Blog Hop at The Chicken Chick, What's Cookin' Wednesday at Buns In My Oven, the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up at Gastronomical Sovereignty, What's In The Box at In Her Chucks, Taste and Tell Thursdays, Frugal Fit Family, and the Farm Girl Blog Fest at Let This Mind Be In You.