I came across a recipe for Cuban Picadillo a number of years ago in soft cover cookbook by Pillsbury called Cooking with Ground Beef and set it aside and forgot about it until recently when Warren was joking about the foods we ate as kids…. he said they would ask his Mom … what’s for dinner?… and the answer sometimes was… something with ground beef… I had to laugh because I remember telling my son just that same thing when he was growing up.
I can’t even count the number of times I took out ground beef to defrost figuring I’d come up with something for dinner…. and I did.. usually inspired by a recipe I had seen and altered to fit the ingredients I had on hand or needed to use up…. and so many a recipe was born.
According to Wikipedia, Picadillo is a traditional dish in many Latin American countries. It’s made with ground meat, usually beef, (but often made with pork and veal also) tomatoes and a variety of other ingredients that vary by region.
Many recipes use green olives… I’m not a fan of green olives so I didn’t use them… also they were not in the original recipe I altered. Picadillo is usually served over rice or used as a filling as in tacos. So I did some further research and looked at various types of Picadillo recipes… Cuban, Mexican and Spanish… and compared ingredients…
I looked at the recipe I had saved and it sounded pretty good except I thought it could use a few extra ingredients … so out of the array of additional ingredients I had found in my search… I chose to add chopped onion, chopped red and green red pepper and garlic cloves. The result was outstanding… a terrific weeknight meal.
I served the Picadillo over white rice mixed with black beans. I used a can of black beans, drained and rinsed them… then I microwaved them for about 6 minutes on high to cook them a little. I made the white rice according to package instructions (4 servings). When the rice was done cooking… I mixed the black beans with it… the can of beans was just the right about to mix with 4 servings of rice.
I chopped the onion and garlic together in my mini chopper… so it was well mixed together.
I was leary of adding the raisins… it just sounded odd to me… but I decided to try it … since virtually every recipe uses raisins (the dark variety)…. I’m glad I did… the slight heat from the other ingredients went so well with the slight sweetness of the raisins… a really nice contrast… so I would recommend you try them.
Chopped green onions are another ingredient I would definitely recommend keeping in … they add a nice fresh and sharp onion flavor… it really perks the dish up. Use both the green and white parts of the green onion.
I hope you try this wonderful dish.
Recipe: Cuban Picadillo
All you need:
1 lb. ground lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 teaspoons cumin
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
½ cup raisins
2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
Cooked white rice
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2-3 green onions, chopped
All you need to do:
Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium high heat, stirring frequently. Drain
Add the onions, garlic and peppers to the skillet. Stir well. Cook for about 3 minutes.
Add the cumin, salt and red pepper flakes, mix well.
Add the tomatoes, raisins, cilantro and lime juice, mix well.
Bring skillet to a boil then reduce heat to medium low and cover.
Simmer for ten minutes.
Prepare the white rice according to package directions.
Drain and rinse the black beans. Place in a small microwaveable dish and microwave on high for about 6 minutes. Set aside.
When rice has cooked, mix the black beans with the rice. Set aside.
To serve, place a helping of rice and beans on a plate. Scoop a serving of Picadillo over the rice.
Sprinkle with green onions.
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