Cuban food for a Cuban character

Food plays an important part in all my books, and therefore is important to my characters. In my first and upcoming book, the hero, Tony Salazar is a Cuban detective who loves food. Here is one of his favorite dishes.

Picadillo

¼ cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, seeded/chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled/chopped
1 bay leaf
¼ cup dry sherry
15 oz can crushed or diced tomatoes
1 – 3 teaspoons salt to taste (I find some tomatoes have enough salt I don’t need more, so you could wait until the end to add this)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
¼ cup dark raisins
¼ cup pimientos stuffed green olives, drained and sliced
1 lb. ground beef (bison and elk are good alternatives)
Salt and pepper to taste
White rice (cooked)
Garnish: can of chopped pimiento
1. In a casserole, heat the oil over low heat until fragrant, add onion, bell pepper and garlic, cook 10 minutes. Add the ground beef, stirring until it browns, approx. 10-15 minutes, breaking up any large chunks. Drain off excess fat.
2. Add the sherry, tomatoes, salt , Worcestershire Sauce, bay leaf and Tabasco and cook uncovered over medium heat for 30 -45 minutes, until liquid starts to absorb, add raisins and olives and cook until liquid is absorbed.
3. Place in a large bowl, top pimientos, serve with white rice.

Serves 4 – 6

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