Cuban Picadillo Lettuce Wraps

INGREDIENTS

For the Picadillo

  • 1 pound ground beef, preferably grass-fed
  • 2 Tablespoons tallow, lard, or coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, about 1.5 cups diced small
  • 1 large green bell pepper, about 1.5 cups diced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 14 oz can whole tomatoes
  • ¼ cup currants
  • 2 Tablespoons green olives with pimiento, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons drained capers
  • 2 Tablespoons olive brine (or white wine vinegar and salt to taste)

For the Pico de Gallo

  • ⅓ cup minced shallot or red onion
  • ⅔ cup diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons minced cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • salt to taste

To Serve

  1. Lettuce leaves or cabbage leaves
  2. Cooked brown or white rice (optional)
  3. Chopped cilantro (optional)


INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add beef. Crumble and stir occasionally as it cooks. Remove and set aside.
  2. Add tallow or oil to pan. Add onions and cook until beginning to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook 3 more minutes. Stir in garlic, then add the salt, black pepper, cumin, and cinnamon and stir for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  3. Add cooked beef, canned tomatoes, currants, diced olives, capers, and olive brine. Break up the tomatoes into small pieces while the mixture comes to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10-20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the pico de gallo. Combine minced shallot, chopped tomatoes, minced cilantro, lime juice, and a dash of salt, then set aside.
  6. To serve, fill each lettuce leaf with the beef mixture, a spoonful of rice (if desired), and a spoonful of pico de gallo or cilantro. Enjoy!