Cuban Picadillo

"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 !"
 
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photo by DanaPNY photo by DanaPNY
photo by DanaPNY
Ready In:
1hr 15mins
Ingredients:
13
Serves:
6-8
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ingredients

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directions

  • Mash the salt, pepper and garlic together in a mortar until well blended.
  • Lightly brown this mixture in the lard/oil with the pepper and the onions until the onions become translucent.
  • Add the tomato sauce and let it simmer for a minute.
  • Add the vinegar.
  • Add the meat and cook for 5-minutes.
  • Add the cooking wine, olives and raisins.
  • Simmer until liquid is absorbed (I usually let this simmer for around an hour or so on low, so the flavors meld together).
  • Serve with rice and beans and a nice cold beer.
  • Tastes even better the next day!

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Reviews

  1. SassyStew
    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.
     
  2. DanaPNY
    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.
     
  3. evewitch
    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.
     
  4. Francys S.
    This is a good starter picadillo recipe. But as another reviewer noted, a real Cuban picadillo does require more spices. Specifically, a package of Sazon Goya and a sprinkling of Sazon Completa. I would also substitute the wine vinegar with a dry wine. Those changes will definitely give this recipe a real Cuban kick!
     
  5. Justthe8ofus
    Delicious. I first had picadillo at a local Cuban restaurant and loved it. So, I looked picadillo up on food.com/Zaar and found this recipe. I'm glad I did! I used all of the ingredients listed except that I used a 28 oz. can of tomato sauce instead of the 15 oz. can. I felt the ground meat needed more sauce to give the dish a fuller flavor than it would have had without it. I didn't follow the cooking directions because they seemed odd to me and I don't own a mortar. Instead, I sauteed the onion and pepper first, then added the minced garlic, a minute later I added the sauce, and a minute after that I added the ground beef and remaining ingredients. I did also slice the green olives in half, since children were going to eat this dish. I cooked this meal covered on low heat for an hour, stirring frequently to keep the dish from sticking. I served over white rice with red beans and cilantro on the side. My husband loved this dish and told me it was a good idea to have added the extra tomato sauce. My kids were one for two. Thanks for a lovely meal that I will be making over and over again!
     
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Tweaks

  1. Francys S.
    This is a good starter picadillo recipe. But as another reviewer noted, a real Cuban picadillo does require more spices. Specifically, a package of Sazon Goya and a sprinkling of Sazon Completa. I would also substitute the wine vinegar with a dry wine. Those changes will definitely give this recipe a real Cuban kick!
     
  2. DanaPNY
    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.
     
  3. tara portee
    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.
     
  4. nethope
    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 soupon 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!
     

RECIPE SUBMITTED BY

I currently live in Stuart, Florida which is a great place to live. I moved here from Orlando many years ago to live the life of a beach bum and have gotten quite good at it. I am actually a Yankee, but becoming more Southern by the day. During the past several years I found an absolute love for cooking. The man in my life loves to eat so we make a good match. I absolutely love Recipezaar and can no longer live without it. I think it is great that I can see what other people think of the recipes before I try them. I have some favorite chefs and reviewers on this site and I know when I try their recipes I can never lose ! My passions are my family, my fiance', my cat (Tasha), the beach, and now cooking. My pet peeve is anyone that abuses animals. AND THIS IS A BIG PET PEEVE ! I am currently a Paralegal but can't see myself doing this forever. If I did not work, I would probably spend my time cooking and taking care of the 50-animals that I would most likely adopt.
 
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