Ground Beef, Cuban Style

05bCubanBeefbfLODon’t get nervous! Yes, you do see sliced green olives in this mixture of ground beef, veggies, a bit of seasoning, and tomato sauce; but I assure you that they don’t overpower the flavor while at the same time adding a lot to it.

If that makes any sense. And, really, even if it doesn’t; you want to try this beef! I made it to serve in tacos, with fresh romaine, onion, tomato, and jerk sauce in place of the cheese and sour cream, and it was a hit with everyone.

•1 lb ground beef
•1 tsp seasoned salt
•3/4 tsp mixed freshly ground Tellicherry, green and white peppercorns
•1/4 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1-1/4 cup diced red, yellow, and orange sweet pepper
•1 cup diced onion
•4 garlic cloves, minced
•2 Chipotles in adobo, sliced
02BeefbfLO•1/4 cup Red wine*
•2/3 cup sliced pimiento stuffed green olives (about 36)
•Canola oil
•1-3/4 cup my Best! Doctored Tomato Sauce
•1/2 cup water

*Red wine note: I pour leftover red wine (not that that happens too often) into an ice cube tray and freeze, then stash the cubes in a plastic bag for cooking. I used 2 cubes, or about 4 tablespoons, or 1/4 cup in this recipe.

03bAddPeppersbfLOWarm a drizzle of canola oil over medium-high heat in a large pan, then add the ground beef, salt, and ground peppers.

Sauté, breaking the meat up, until cooked through, then remove to a colander to drain, leaving a bit of the oil and cooking fat in the pan.

04aAddBeefOlivesbfLOAdd the onion and garlic and sauté for five minutes, then add the sweet peppers and chipotles, along with a drizzle of red wine* to deglaze the pan and continue cooking for another four minutes.

Add the drained ground beef, green olives, tomato sauce and water, then bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat for another 25 minutes.

Let rest for ten minutes, then serve.

08cCubanTacosBLbfLOAs I mentioned above, this recipe was really, really good in corn tacos, and the flavor was such that they actually tasted better without adding cheese or sour cream – even Rich thought so, and he loves his cheese and cream – so think about this as a kindofa light taco option.

For Tacos: toast a corn tortilla for 20 to 30 seconds per side in a hot, dry skillet over medium high heat.

Add the Cuban beef and top with shredded lettuce, sliced grape tomatoes, and red onion.

06bJerkSauceHoneyFrenchbfLOI wouldn’t say ‘no’ to a bit of hot jalapeño nacho slices either.

Sprinkle with some Jerk Sauce (I really like Busha Browne’s) and a small drizzle of honey-French dressing (check out that recipe tomorrow).

Tasty tacos!

10CubanQuesadillaPlatebfLOI also tried this filling out in a quesadilla, adding a bit of Swiss cheese, because that’s what I had in the cheese drawer, and it was good; but I thought the cheese with the Cuban beef was just a bit too much. I still served it with the lettuce, tomato, onion, jalapeño slices, jerk sauce and honey French dressing.

Mebbe it was the cheese, mebbe it was the flour tortilla; it just was not as most excellent as the cheese-less corn taco.

08aTacosCubanabfLOFor quesadillas: layer the cheese and beef in the center of a large (10 or 12 inch) flour tortilla, then cook in a quesadilla maker or sandwich press for four minutes, or, arrange the meat and cheese on one side of the tortilla, fold in half and cook in a hot skillet for three to four minutes per side.

All things considered, I’m sticking with the tacos.


Rich was thinking that the beef would be a fine chili base; which got me to thinking about Cincinnati 5-way style chili; with spaghetti and onion and beans (and yes, mebbe some cheese) layered with the beef.

Stay tuned…

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