Beef Picadillo with Summer Squash
A quick and easy one-pot meal, with the Spanish flavors of smoked paprika and green olives, balanced with a tiny bit of sweetness from raisins. Most of the ingredients are easy to keep in a well-stocked kitchen. This recipe is easily adaptable to suit food-allergies and availability of ingredients.
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon grass-fed ghee or butter
- 2 pounds yellow squash or zucchini, or mixture of both, roughly chopped
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper, or to taste
- ½ lime
- 1 pound ground grass-fed beef
- 6 garlic-stuffed green olives, sliced, or 6 green olives plus 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons raisins, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ancho chili powder
- ¾-1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- Sour cream, to dollop
- Lime wedges
- Cilantro leaves
- Warm sprouted grain tortillas, blue corn chips, or rice
Heat a large cast-iron skillet with 2 tablespoons of ghee or butter over medium heat. Sauté the chopped summer squash, stirring frequently until the squash is very tender, about 8 minutes.
Turn off the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of ghee or butter, ¼ teaspoon of ground cumin and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl, squeeze in the juice of ½ lime and stir until well combined. Keep warm while you prepare the picadillo.
Wipe out of the skillet and turn it back on to medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the beef to the pan and break it up into small bits as you stir quickly. Mix in the remaining picadillo ingredients and cook the mixture until the beef is browned but not dry, about 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and spoon out any excess grease.
Along with the summer squash, serve the picadillo with the accompaniment of your choice.
- A larger 12-inch cast iron skillet works the best, but a traditional 10-inch skillet is fine. An enameled or stainless-steel skillet will also do the job.
- Ground grass-fed beef cooks faster than conventional, due to its lower fat content, so be careful not to overcook. If the beef does dry out, stir in a tablespoon or so of homemade chicken or beef broth and simmer gently for a 30 seconds to give some moisture back.
- For a nightshade-free recipe, omit the paprika and chili powder, and add 1 teaspoon dried oregano.
- Substitute summer squash with other vegetables in season at the time, such as cauliflower florets, chopped greens, or cubed butternut squash, and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
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