One thing I have been making a lot of lately is a Cuban dish called Picadillo which is super easy and sort of fast to make. It is one of those things you make when you need a no-brainer meal because you don't feel well or realize it is almost dinner time and have no clue what to make.
I have been thinking about Irish type recipes lately because of the St. Patrick's Day coming up this month. I don't think Shepard's Pie is an Irish dish but it is close enough. Which got me thinking about another Cuban dish that sort of reminds me of Shepard's Pie just in a different format...Papas Rellenas. They are fried stuffed potatoes balls which I have only had once but for some odd reason crave them.
So here is the beginning of my quest to make something that resembles Shepard's Pie using the ingredients for Papas Rellanas. For now I will give you the recipe for the Picadillo part because that I know is good. I have to still work out the kinks because as you can see in the picture below there was A LOT more potato then meat...
1lb ground beef or turkey
1/2 green pepper
1 medium onion
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup white wine
salt, to taste
Spanish olives, chopped
1) Put the green pepper and onion in the food processor and pulse a few times. You want it to be small pieces but not pureed.
2) Heat some olive oil in a medium sauce pot over medium high heat. Put in the pepper/onion mixture and cook for a few minutes until onions are translucent. Add the garlic powder, oregano, bay leaf, salt and tomato sauce. Stir to combine.
3) Add the meat to the pot and stir to combine with the sauce. Then stir in the white wine into the meat mixture.
4) Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.
5) Remove cover and cook until majority of the liquid has evaporated.
6) Stir in the chopped olives and serve hot over rice.
Review: I would say this was my first trial run of what I was trying to make. Each part was good and tasted yummy but the proportions weren't right at all. I put some cornflake crumbs on the top to give it a little bit of a crunch which was nice but i think the potato part needs a little more flavor. That is the part I am going to work on to perfect...I will let you know when I have it all just right.