I think one of my favourite things growing up was Fries Supreme from Taco Bell. Looking back now, I don’t understand why. It’s the physical embodiment of a broken food system. An assortment of processed meats and toppings piled atop one another into a mound that resembles animal excrement.
Alas, there is hope where there was once despair. If you take the principal of combining delicious flavours and textures, which I’m sure was the initial thought behind the bastardized Taco Bell Fries Supreme, and use healthy, organic and real ingredients, you can create an absolutely stellar dish!
Introducing my Paleo Fries Supreme. It is a family favourite and I’ve made it enough times to be able to recommend it as a recipe. It was originally adapted from an old Bobby Flay recipe, who is a go-to source of inspiration for me. The guacamole recipe can be found here FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE.
If you have leftovers, try making a salad jar like I regularly do. The secret to a great salad jar is layers! Make sure to alternate the ingredients so you don’t end up with mouthfuls of purple cabbage alone.
Give it a go and let me know what you think in the comments below!
‘Paleo Fries Supreme’ (Picadillo over Sweet Potato Fries)
2 large red sweet potatoes or Japanese yams – cut into ‘french fries’
2 pounds grass-fed lean ground beef
300 ml organic chicken stock
2 dried ancho chilies
1 dried New Mexico chili
1 red onion – thinly sliced
500 gr cremini mushrooms – sliced
5 cloves garlic – mashed
1 tsp spicy Spanish paprika
1 tsp smoky Spanish paprika
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
1 tsp Mexican chili powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 chipotle chili – with a little bit of the sauce it’s preserved in
1 handful Green olives – sliced
1.5 tbsp avocado oil
Salt and Pepper
Sliced radishes for garnish
For the Sweet Potato Fries:
- Preheat your oven to 375.
- Slice the sweet potatoes into thin ‘French Fry’ shapes, lay them flat across a large wax paper-lined baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tbsp avocado oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss everything to coat evenly. Bake for 1 hour – flip the fries at the halfway point. **Cooking times will vary depending on the size of your fries and heat of your oven.
For the Picadillo:
- Add the chicken stock and dried chilies to a small saucepan and bring everything to the boil. Then, reduce heat to the lowest setting, cover with a lid and let steep for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, drizzle 1/2 tbsp avocado oil in a large Dutch oven and set over high heat. Working in batches, brown all of the beef until the edges form a golden brown crust. Do not add too much beef to the pot or it will not brown properly. Once browned and a golden brown crust has formed around the edges of the meat, transfer the beef to a bowl using a slotted spoon.
- Leaving the rendered fat in the pot, reduce the heat to medium and add in the onions, mushrooms and garlic. Sauté until the mushrooms have softened and the onions are slightly caramelized but not burnt. Approximately 8-10 minutes.
- While the onions, mushrooms and garlic cook, remove the dried chilies from the chicken stock. Discard the seeds and stems of each chili and add them to a blender or food processor along with one chipotle pepper and all of the chili-infused chicken stock (careful to strain the stock for all loose seeds). Blend until it forms a smooth, rich and creamy consistency. Set aside for the moment.
- Return to the pot with the mushrooms, onion and garlic. Add in 1 teaspoon spicy paprika, 1 teaspoon smoky paprika, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon cumin powder, 1 teaspoon Mexican chili powder, 1 tsp dried Medican oregano, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Stir everything to coat evenly. Toast the spices for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously to avoid burning them.
- Deglaze the pot with the blended chili puree, scraping off any brown-bits that have formed on the bottom and sides of the pot.
- Add in the browned beef along with all of the rendered juices that have formed at the bottom of the bowl.
- Stir everything together, set the heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for at least 1 hour. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. After 1 hour, add in a handful of sliced green olives. Set the lid back onto the pot and cook for another 10 minutes.
- At this point taste for seasoning, adding more salt or pepper to taste. Note that the olives should have added enough salt flavour to not require adding anymore.
- If your Picadillo is a bit too ‘watery’, remove the lid and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes. This will allow for some of the moisture in the pot to evaporate. It will also concentrate the rich flavours of the Picadillo – a good thing! You are aiming for a thick yet juicy consistency that loosely coats the back of a spoon. ***Careful not to cook the sauce for much longer than 10 minutes or it may dry-out or burn.
- Remove from heat. *Note: you can make Picadillo the day before and reheat at the time of serving. The flavours will continue to develop in the fridge over night and it will taste even better the next day!
- Arrange the sweet potatoes on a plate and spoon a generous amount of Picadillo overtop. Serve with a heap of fresh, homemade guacamole (RECIPE HERE), sliced radishes, a few extra sprigs of cilantro and lime wedges.