I don't like cooked raisins in anything. The texture is strange, kind of like eating a bug. So I generally will leave them out of recipes that call for them.
But I saw a show that featured this Cuban dish, and was intrigued by the combination of ingredients. Meat, olives and...raisins ? So I did some research online, watched the show again, and started cooking. And I almost didn't add the raisins. This "stew" tastes fine without them, but they definitely add a whole new dimension to the taste. And when I took a bite in combination with all of the other ingredients, I didn't notice their texture.
The poor thing doesn't photograph so well either, so use your imagination, it was very good !
1/4 pound chorizo
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups diced onions
2 pounds ground bison, venison or beef
1 large red or green pepper, chopped (I prefer red pepper)
2 teaspoons whole cumin seed, crushed
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
2 15 ounce cans tomatoes with green chilis
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup small green olives with pimentos
1/2 cup raisins
In a large dutch oven, brown the chorizo, do not drain grease. Saute onions and garlic with the chorizo. Add the ground meat, and brown. Add red pepper, spices, tomatoes and tomato paste and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add olives and raisins. Cover and simmer 30-40 minutes until all vegetables are tender and flavors are well combined.
You can serve this over rice, or with tortillas.