Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Picadillo - Cuban (ish) style

I think I've shared that we are in a Meat CSA.  Have I said that I am now the CSA coordinator for said CSA? Yes! I am the first ever Meadow Haven CSA coordinator.  whoohoo!  Of course the CSA only started out about six months ago, so it's not like there was a lot of coordinating going on.

Anyway, in our meat share we get a lot of ground beef.  No complaints, I love ground beef because it is so versatile and there are so many ways to cook it.  And, you can get a flavor of a country just by adding spices or other ingredients to create a whole new dish.  We've had South African, Italian, Spanish, Indian and so on. Aside from the not so basic burgers that the BF makes for us, as he makes great burgers.

Picadillo is a fairly common name for a Latin American and Filipino dish made up with (usually) ground beef .  The dish comes with a variety of flavors based on the country of origin.  I even found one in a Tex-Mex cookbook but it looked so boring compared with this version that I didn't even write it down or try it.  But, once you have a great recipe it is very hard to muck around with a blander version.   The dish is usually served with rice or as the filling in a taco - but we just eat it straight from a bowl. Best of all, if you double the quantity, it reheats great for work.

Another good thing is that you can add almost anything to it to meet your tastes.  The idea is a sweet, salty, beefy combo.  The BF likes cashews and we added that for a bonus crunch.  The original recipe is from Three Guys From Miami who also have a cookbook that has some great recipes.


1 cup diced onion
1 cup seeded and finely chopped bell pepper
butter/fat for sautéing
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lbs. ground beef or ground round
1 1/2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped (or one can of chopped tomatoes)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/16 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup chopped olives  (optional - green or black)
1/6 cup raisins
Salt and pepper to taste 1/4 cup raw cashews (optional)

Melt butter/fat in a large frying pan. Sauté onion and green pepper for about 5 minutes, until the onion is softened. Add the garlic and ground beef. Cook until the meat is browned, about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, and oregano. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.  If you don't want any sauce, cook it uncovered.  You may still have to simmer it longer to reduce the liquids if you used canned tomatoes.

Add olives and raisins and simmer 5 minutes longer. Salt and pepper to taste.

While the olives and raisins are cooking.  Heat up a frying pan with butter, toss in the cashews and stirring constantly wait until lightly brown.  Then toss them into the pan.

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