This is an easy upgrade to the typical Taco Tuesday ground beef tacos. Rick Bayless uses tomatoes and sweet spices to flavor the meat (ground pork) as well as nuts and raisins to add contrasting texture. Delicious!
We ate the picadillo in warm hard-shell taco shells with avocado slices, refried beans, steamed greens, and brown Basmati rice. A little sprinkling of feta or queso fresco was a nice garnish too. This recipe was adapted from Rick Bayless.com.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
- 1 1/2 T vegetable oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 1/2 pounds lean, coarse-ground pork
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns OR about 3/4 tsp ground
- 1-inch piece cinnamon stick OR 1 teaspoon ground
- 5 cloves OR about 1/8 teaspoon ground
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 4 tsp cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- coarse salt (about 1 teaspoon)
- Pour the tomatoes directly into a blender and blend until smooth. (I used a Vitamix.)
- Heat the oil in a large, 14-inch skillet over medium heat. (I used enameled cast iron.)
- When hot, add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook 2 minutes longer.
- Add the pork in a thin layer and fry, stirring frequently, until cooked and lightly brown. (If quite a bit of fat has rendered from the meat, drain it off.)
- If using whole spices, add the pepper, cinnamon and cloves in a mortar or spice grinder. Add the ground spices to the skillet along with the tomato puree, raisins and vinegar.
- Simmer until reduced to a thick, homogenous mass, 30 to 45 minutes.
- While the filling simmers, toast the almonds for about 8 to 10 minutes in a 325 degree oven.
- Stir toasted almonds into the filling; adjust seasoning as needed with salt. Serve.
Note: The finished picadillo can be covered and refrigerated for 3 or 4 days.
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