The 6th. of January, Epiphany, is a public holiday here in Sweden, effectively an additional Sunday injected into the working week.
Many take the opportunity to build a longer holiday by using the days caught between the previous weekend and the public holiday as “squeeze-days”.
Coming so soon after the New Year festivities this can mean a prolonged disruption to many services. Supermarket deliveries, for one.
I had intended to cook fish. Nice, fresh fish. Ha. No chance. The good stuff obviously disappeared earlier in the day, leaving me with the less than first class remains to contemplate. No sale.
It was the same in the meat section. I placed the last packet of minced beef in my basket seconds before it was spirited away by another equally exasperated looking shopper.
I was halfway home before it struck me that I’d bought it without a clear idea as to what I was actually going to do with it.
Luckily for me I had well stocked cupboards and a large library of cookbooks to fall back on.
Given what I had to work with, a Paleo-friendly version of the Mexican beef hash Picadillo seemed the best bet. As I say in the notes below, if I had actually set out to make a Picadillo, I would certainly have included a carrot and some oregano, too.
Still, given the fact that earlier in the evening I had been wandering around a semi picked clean supermarket in a condition best described as dazed and confused with noticeable hints of irritation and panic, a very pleasant result.
Fish tomorrow. Definitely.
- 800 g minced beef
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 1 Jalapeño chilli, finely chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
- 4 tbsp tomato pureé
- 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 handful of raisins
- 1 handful of flaked almonds
- olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat 4 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat in a large non-stick pan. Fry the onion until it has taken on a nice colour, and has softened, about 5 minutes or so.
- Add the Jalapeño chilli, and continue to fry for a further 2 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for 2 minutes more.
- Add the minced beef to the pan. Sprinkle the ground cinnamon, ground allspice, ground cumin, ground coriander, salt and pepper to taste, and the smoked Spanish paprika over the meat. Stir well to combine all the ingredients, and stir fry until the meat has lost its raw, pink colour, about 5 minutes or so.
- Add the tomato pureé, white wine vinegar, raisins, and flaked almonds to the pan. Stir well. Add just enough hot water to make a little sauce for the meat to cook in, thinking on that the finished dish should be a tad on the dry side. Drop the heat down so that the picadillo is at a low simmer. Cover, and cook for about 30 minutes or so, stirring often.
- When the picadillo is cooked to your satisfaction, remove the pan from the heat, and serve with plenty of large salad leaves to use as a Paleo alternative to flat-breads.
- With more time to plan, I would have also included a finely diced medium carrot, which would have gone in the pan at the same time as the onion. A teaspoon of dried oregano would have joined the spices as they were chucked over the meat, too.
- If your Paleo preferences mean that you don’t want to use white wine vinegar, simply substitute lime juice.