When thinking of an appropriate dish to make for St. Patrick's Day, ones mind inevitably drifts to something with carrots and potatoes. It might be picking low-hanging fruit, but those vegetables, along with cabbage, are the foods that most evoke the Irish experience.
Carrots and potatoes occasionally appear in Mexican cooking, but more often in the hearty highland food than the bright and light Yucatan and Veracruz dishes. Picadillo, however, is popular across the country. It's a ground beef dish with onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables, which uses the beef as the base to create a symphony of savory, wholesome flavors.
My mom, Carmen, has a family recipe with zucchini that we swear by. The meat absorbs the essence of the root vegetables in the pan and takes on a new life as a member of a band. It's like Neil Young joining Crosby, Stills, and Nash.
While Picadillo bridges Mexican flavors and Irish ones, it wasn't really St. Patricksy enough for us, so we decided to make a chimichurri topping, adding green and acidic elements to the plate. The final dish balances the soul food satisfaction of picadillo and the freshness of chimichurri––creating the perfect bite.
Better though, was the time my mom and I spent together side-by-side in the new Siete kitchen. We jammed out to a funk playlist while cooking up a storm in the kitchen. It's always fun to learn more about our family traditions through food.
The dish requires a lot of chopping, but the aromas from the herbs for the chimichurri make it worth it alone. It was great to bond with each other and the Garzas over the food that we love to make and eat!