Why This Recipe Works
For this Cuban-inspired weeknight meal, we take a hodgepodge of ingredients and turn them into a balanced blend of flavors and textures. Equal amounts of ground beef and ground pork lighten the heavy base, while blooming warm spices like cumin and cinnamon heighten their flavor. Drained canned whole tomatoes and dry white wine provide bright flavor, and simmered raisins introduce sweetness directly to the sauce. Browning the meat only causes it to become tough, so we forgo the browning and soak the meat in a mix of baking soda and water. The alkali baking soda ensures that the ground meat remains tender during cooking.