Here I am listening to the Buena Vista Social Club, making some Cuban food and trying to reach out and touch that Cubana in me. My Grandfather was Cuban, so here is to him, a toast of my heritage. I was certainly surprised by the mixtures of flavors and spices. Certainly the base of this is a lot like my typical chili, but adding the cinnamon and the raisins change the flavor palette. I served this with Tostones and Baked Almond Crackers.
2 diced onions
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon1 seeded and finely chopped red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds ground beef or ground round
1/2 can (28oz) of diced tomatoes
1/3 cup raisins
Sprinkle capers or green olives
Salt and pepper to taste
-Sauté onion in a large frying pan. Sauté about 5 minutes, until the onion is softened, then add cumin and cinnamon to roast them a bit. Then add the garlic, red pepper and ground beef.
-Mash the onion and red pepper into the sautéing meat and cook until the meat is browned, about 5 minutes.
-Add the tomatoes and raisins. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
-Salt and pepper to taste.
-Serve like chili or over squash.
Some of my favorite Cuban things:
The Buena Vista Social Club
Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale by Carmen Agra Deedy