By Valerie in Florida on June 17, 2004
Photo by DanaPNY
Photo by DanaPNY
"Wonderful Cuban recipe for one of the best meat dishes there is. I used to eat at this great mom and pop Cuban restaurant in my town and unfortunately they closed down. This was the closest I could get to their wonderful recipe !"
Serving Size: 1 (250 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 6
"Terrific recipe! After reading the comments, I decided to try both methods of browning the meat first and/or putting it in as is in order to contribute to the debate. This was easy since I was already dividing the batch because DH hates olives :) The meat that was cooked in the sauce had a better texture, and the flavor was also better (the sauce didn't reach all the way in to the browned meat). I used ground turkey, so even the one that I didn't brown and drain was not a bit greasy. I think this would work with any lean meat (12% fat or less). I will make this recipe again as directed, however I did add two tsp. of Mexican Oregano and one tsp. Smoked Spanish Paprika to the vegetables about one minute before they were done."
"This dish had such a great combo of flavors and textures! I used this recipe as a foundation and made adjustments based upon a few of these reviews and some other research I did. Instead of 1/4 cup oil, I only used 2 tbsp of olive oil to sauté the peppers, onions and minced garlic until softened. I then browned the meat in that mixture and drained the fat. In lieu of tomato sauce, I added a can of diced tomatoes and a 6oz. can of tomato paste. In addition to the salt and pepper, I threw in 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp dried cilantro, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp ground cloves and 4 bay leaves. I served this with yellow rice and black beans using one of the recipes suggested in the reviews (http://www.food.com/recipe/gatorbeks-cuban-pork-black-beans-and-yellow-rice-281298). This meal was featured in my blog - http://danasfoodblog.com/?p=1248."
"I really liked the way this turned out, but I was a bit surprised that it didn't call for any herbs or spices except salt and pepper. (I think I will try out a few more recipes before settling on this one. I think I was expecting cumin, at least, although I don't know what is traditional.) I had 3 lb of meat, so I made an attempt to multiply by 1 1/2, although I only had one green pepper. The meat was something that Walmart labeled carne picada. It was a bit different, but good. I was a little worried about my tomato sauce. I used an 8 oz can of tomato sauce, but my 15 oz can was government "spaghetti sauce." It didn't seem to have any actual seasoning in it, so it worked out ok. I also used dried chopped figs instead of raisins, because I have pounds and pounds of them and am trying to use them up. They pretty much disintegrated and left behind their sweetness, which was fine because my family often complains about fruit in dinner. The dish simmered for about 2 hours."
"Great recipe - I make it monthly and it never fails to make everyone happy :-) <br/>I do par-cook the meat to render some of the fat off. We live in Miami ( the land of picadillo) and this is the best one I have eaten ... so definitely a winning recipe. I serve it with black beans and rice, with plantain chips to garnish/scoop it up ;-)"
"This was a new flavour for us, and we enjoyed it. I did add the cumin as others suggested, but did not have olives at hand.
I half cooked the meat first (so I could remove fat), then added it to the onions mixture so it would absorb the flavours.
Thanks for sharing. We'll add this to our repertoire.
"I was looking for an interesting picadillo recipe and this one was very good! I don't EVER use cooking wine, so just added some Chardonnay. Also added some diced potatoes, because I saw that it many other recipes. The OF liked it, but then he eats everything I cook."
"Yummy!!! Love the raisins, love the olives!! I did add 2 tsp of cumin as someone suggested. Otherwise followed the recipe as written. And I did brown the meat FIRST. Then made the remaining ingredients as directed. Added the meat before the wine, olives and raisins. Served with black beans and rice as well. Soooo good. I had intended to add diced potatoes but totally forgot! Didn't really need it with the rice. Made the black beans as directed in Recipe #281298. Thank you for sharing!
UUPDATE: I too have now made it both ways, the meat in the sauce and pre-cooked. I agree with SassyStew...the meat in the sauce absorbs the flavors better making this my preferred method. Everyone I make this dish for LOVE, LOVE, LOVES this meal!"
"I made half a recipe for the two of us and it was great. Wasn't sure if I would like the olives but both of us did, in fact may add more next time. Served with black beans and rice and rum cake for a great meal."
"I really enjoyed this recipe. I made it pretty close to the directions with only a couple additions.
Used 97/3 ground beef, 1 lb (what I had on hand), I cooked it about halfway as directed. I had also seen a Cuban cook make this on Diner's DriveIns & Dives and that's how she cooked her meat, halfway.
I grated the garlic w/ a microplane grater as I didn't have a mortar and pestle. I added a sprinkle of cinnamon, paprika and a small bay leaf while it simmered.
The meat texture was great, sort of soft. I think this had to do with the partial cooking and how the acids of the vinegars, wine and tomato sauce worked on the beef. Did taste great the next day.
I halved most of the liquids because I only used 1 lb of beef but kept full recipe amounts of the bell pepper, olives and raisins. I also added an extra splash of red wine vinegar just for my tastes.
Only thing I may do differently is add some fresh chopped parsley, cilantro or scallions when serving.
Served with Goya Yellow Rice and warm flour tortillas. Will make plantains to go with it next time!
Don't think I'll be trying another version, this one did it for me!"
"My first time trying this recipe, I made it up about a day or so in advance in order to let the flavors meld together, like a stew. I went to heat it up the next evening and it was all gone. My husband had eaten the entire thing in about a 30 hour time span without my knowledge. I made it again two weeks later, also in advance. I got called out of town and again didn't get to have more than a tasting. My husband was in hog heaven!!!"
"I would absolutely give this 5 stars, but I made it with no meat and instead used it as the picadillo in Recipe #63869. When I change something so significantly, it doesn't seem fair to give stars. The other things I did differently were to use less oil, less salt and red pepper instead of green pepper. This was awesome! It is super flavorful, so the less adventuresome may want to steer clear."
"Yum! This kinda became a model for me since I changed so much! I have made it twice, and here is what I did. I only used enough oil to saute the veggies, which ended up being a few teaspoons. I used red bell peppers one time, but I think green is better. I used 2tbs apple cider vinegar, no red wine vin. or cooking wine. I also think it is IMPERATIVE to brown the meat seperately first. it tastes way better if it is browned and drained and then put into the sauce. I did it as listed once, and browned it another time and it was a trillion times better when browned. I served with white rice and black beans...YUM!"
"Tasty! I used a Krups coffee grinder for the first step for much faster results. I looked at other picadillo recipes, and cooked a sweet potato with same spices that I then used to keep the onions from sticking to the pan -- I'm just not going to use that much oil or lard when I can easily avoid it and still add a special flavor. I added the thinly sliced sweet potatoes to the vegetable stage. I had a leftover cuban pork roast (cooked in a mojo sauce) that I diced and used instead of ground pork. I used capers instead of olives, and skipped the raisins since I had the sweetness of the sweet potatoes already. Oh, and I added a big splash of Texas Pete (it's a vinegar hot sauce with a soupÃ§on of tomato) with the vinegar to kick it up a notch. No, I can't follow a recipe ... especially when I'm so tempted by aspects of other recipes. Still, I came the closest to following this recipe, and it was very tasty! I served this picadillo with red beans (some of the roast's mojo sauce went into a sofrito for the red beans) and corn chips. I wish I had followed Belinda's tip to add fresh cilantro since I love it, but this picadillo was good anyway. Next time I want a non-sandwich Cuban meal, I've got another good choice. Thanks!"
"I liked this recipe. But I added some finely diced potatoes. And just before serving some fresh chopped cilantro. I also left out the cooking wine."
"This dish is definitely a keeper. I had it at a baby shower the other day and I immediately came home and looked it up on recipezaar. We served it over brown rice and dh love it. Even my 16 month old son devoured it although I had to chop up the olives and raisins for him. I left out the cloves since neither of us like cloves and after I separated out a portion for my son, I warmed up mine and dh's with a little bit of cumin and a dash of cayenne pepper. Excellent."
"Delicious. I've never had or cooked Picadillo so have nothing to compare it to, but it was good. The consistency of the meat mixture while cooking reminded me of Mexican Chrozio- moist, sticky meat. The olives gave a nice salty tang, while the raisins added little bursts of sweetness. Used a red wine, and it was perfect. Served with white rice & black beans. Would make again."
"This was delicious. DH has already asked me to put it in "The Book." My DH requested Picadillo, and I had no idea what it was . . . this recipe was easy to follow. As others have mentioned, I was concerned about not browning the meat. It was fine though with the low fat ground beef I used. DH mentioned it was not as fatty as he remembered it in his Miami days. I only made slight alterations. First, I halved the recipe because there are only two us. Second, I ommitted the raisins as neither of us cares much for cooked raisins. Third, I upped the wine (mine was red). I served this with black beans and white rice. It was a great meal."
"Wonderful!! I made this last weekend and everyone raved. It is a flavor explosion with each bite. I froze half for a later meal, but was asked to have it again three nights later! This recipe is going in my tried and true cookbook. Thanks!"
"This is as Cuban as it gets. Great flavor, texture and color. At first I was alittle concerned about not browning the meat. After one hour of simmering the meat cooked and the fat floated to the top. Thank You"
"this is a very good recipe. I used dry white wine and added a tablespoon of brown sugar. it turned out delicious. i will definitely make it again and again!!"