Nightshade-Free Cuban Picadillo & Free Bacon from Butcher Box!

Have you ever tried picadillo?! It is one of my favorite Cuban dishes, but I haven’t been able to order it in quite some time since this whole no nightshades, no ‘dillo business started. It’s a savory, sweet and salty skillet meal. It makes incredible leftovers and is super affordable to put on your table too! We do a lot of ground beef in our house because you can add a ton of veggies on the side and really stretch a meal while still getting good quality protein.

 

I made this dish using my Butcher Box grass fed ground beef. Butcher Box is a fairly new food delivery service that sends you customizable boxes of their grass fed beef, pastured pork, and heritage chicken from only small, trusted local farmers.

 

The shipments arrive on dry ice still frozen, so you don’t have to worry about product quality issues. I got my shipment within 2 days and was so excited to find a couple more unusual cuts of beef that I typically don’t see at my store, including grass fed sirloin tips which we used to make Thai Steak Skewers that were amazing.

 

I tried 5 different cuts of beef from them and was really shocked to realize I actually COULD taste a difference in their beef compared to the beef I buy from Whole Foods. Whole Foods is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but getting straight from small farms that aren’t contracted under a national grocery chain makes a big difference.

 

What’s also cool is each time you order, you’ll likely get a variety of cuts that you didn’t receive in your last shipment! I am someone who goes to the grocery stores 3 to 4 times a week, and that gets pretty exhausting. Usually I’m going to buy fresh meat or seafood, since I don’t utilize my freezer much. After having several pounds of grass fed beef in my freezer for a couple weeks and being able to grab and defrost on the fly, I now realize why people buy deep freezes!

 

Buying in bulk or freezing when you find cuts on sale really saves you not just money but time in the long run. I loved our Butcher Box so much, they asked me to write a few thoughts on their beef for their website. I don’t only buy grass-fed, pastured and wild caught meat and seafood because it’s better for ME, but more so because it’s better for our environment, local economies, and for the animals.

 

“Grass-fed beef, particularly the high quality cuts from ButcherBox, is a health food staple in our house. Animal welfare is a topic I hold close to my heart, and I need to know that the beef we purchase comes from healthy, happy and properly treated cattle. Not only are grass-fed cattle treated more humanely, but they also have a lower environmental impact and generally come from smaller, local family farms rather than factory CAFOs. On top of all that, grass-fed beef is plain and simple the more nutritious choice, packed with more vitamins and omega-3s than grain-fed meat by a landslide!”

 

Interested in trying Butcher Box for yourself? Right now if you place an order through my fan page, you will receive a free package of bacon! Who turns down free bacon?!

 

ORDER YOUR BUTCHER BOX HERE!

Nightshade-Free Cuban Picadillo

Preparation 00:15 2017-09-25T00:15:00+00:00 Cook Time 00:25 2017-09-25T00:25:00+00:00 Serves 6     adjust servings
paleo cuban picadillo

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (omit for AIP!)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano flakes
  • 2 Turkish bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 pounds Grass Fed Ground Beef
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2/3 cup butternut squash puree
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
  • 3/4 cup pitted and sliced green olives
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. In a large stainless steel skillet, cook bacon, onion and garlic over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes until the onion is tender and fragrant.
  2. Stir in cumin, oregano, bay leaves, and cinnamon and continue to stir for 30 seconds until toasted and fragrant.
  3. Crumble ground beef into skillet and season with sea salt. Cook, stirring every couple minutes, until no longer pink. Ensure you break up the ground beef into small pieces with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
  4. Add butternut squash, red wine, molasses, olives, and raisins to the skillet and bring to low boil over medium-heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 6 to 8 minutes until thickened.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar. Serve over cauliflower rice or white rice for a traditional Cuban meal.

Paleo Vaca Frita (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)

 

 

Cuban food is up there for me for some of my favorite flavors. Maybe it’s because I grew up in Florida, or maybe it’s because they love their meat and rice just like I do. Either way I couldn’t wait to take my husband to my hometown’s best Cuban restaurant which is only a 5 minute walk from my parents. You need at least a 45 minute walk post-meal to make enough space in your diaphragm to breathe again, but hey. We went right before we left to come back to Austin after the holidays.

 

I am very careful about what types of oils I consume at restaurants and always ask what type is used to fry, saute, or dress the foods. If it’s not olive oil (highly unlikely) or canola oil (more likely) I don’t touch it. I’d rather go hungry than deal with the wrath of soybean oil or corn oil on my body. This restaurant unfortunately used a vegetable oil mix that included soybean so I had a homemade limeade (water, sugar, lime juice) and boiled yucca without the mojo sauce. I seasoned it with salt and lime juice and it was quite filling since yucca may be the starchiest food on the planet.

 

My hub on the other hand had my favorite food in the world at the moment (the crispiest, thinnest tostones) and fried shredded pork with rice and beans. It looked amazing but I didn’t have any food envy since I know I can recreate that type of meal at home within the Paleo framework without the use of dairy, gluten or nightshades.

 

This recipe uses my favorite appliance: The INSTANT POT

 

I’ve been making tostones at least 3 times per week. My favorite method is using my recipe in The Healing Kitchen but frying in bacon fat and topping with truffle salt. This Vaca Frita, which means “fried cow” quite literally, would be amazing with tostones and a green salad on the side and sure to please any meat-loving man or woman in your life. It’s absolutely delicious! Imagine slow-cooked (well, in a pressure cooker… but you could use a slow cooker and just adjust the cooking time to 4 to 6 hours) tender beef roast, shredded, then lightly pan-fried until crispy but still moist.

 

Add savory onion and garlic and brighten things up with orange juice and apple cider vinegar, and this is a meaty dish that is well-balanced, flavor-driven, and oh-so-versatile. 

 

 

Paleo Vaca Frita

Preparation 00:15 2017-09-25T00:15:00+00:00 Cook Time 00:45 2017-09-25T00:45:00+00:00 Serves 6 to 8     adjust servings

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds beef chuck roast
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, halved and sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/3 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • Lime wedges for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in the Instant Pot  insert using “Saute” function. Cook down onions for 5 minutes until softened and lightly browned.

  2. Meanwhile, chop beef using a large chefs knife into large palm-sized chunks (about 6 pieces). Add beef, garlic, 2 teaspoons sea salt, and thyme to the insert and toss well. Cook beef for 1 minute per side to lightly brown.

  3. Pour orange juice over beef. Seal Instant Pot lid and set the manual pressure cooker timer to 25 minutes.

  4. Release the pressure once the time has elapsed and transfer the beef and onions to a rimmed baking sheet or cutting board to shred well with two forks. Discard the liquid in the insert.

  5. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Spread shredded beef, garlic, and onions on the bottom of the skillet. Fry for several minutes before stirring with tongs once the beef has started to brown and crisp. Sprinkle in the apple cider vinegar.

  6. Continue frying for anywhere between 5 to 10 minutes until the beef is crispy, sweet, and browned.

  7. Transfer to serving bowl and serve with lime wedges, a side of cauliflower rice or white rice, and a green salad.