Tuesday, November 6, 2007


For the Cuban feast I fixed with my friends on Saturday, I made picadillo which is basically seasoned ground beef served over rice. But this is no ordinary ground beef dish. It is flavored with spices, olives and raisins. As leftovers it is very tasty as filling for a burritos or tacos.

I looked for picadillo recipes online but they were so varied that I could not decide what to do so I consulted my beautiful Cuban friend who is fabulous cook. She sent me her grandmother's recipe. It allows for quite a lot of adaption because the seasonings are basically to taste.


3lb lean ground beef
2T. olive oil
1c. white wine
2 medium onions, diced
2 medium cubanelle peppers or green bell pepper, diced
4 cloves of garlic
2 small can of tomato sauce
lime juice
garlic powder
onion powder
lemon juice
dried oregano
salt and pepper
sliced green olives with pimento

Mince the garlic with some lime juice and salt. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the onions and garlic and cook for a minute. Add the peppers and cook until the veggies are softened and the liquid begins to evaporate. Pour in a cup of white wine and cook until it cooks away. Begin adding 1 can of tomato paste little by little, alternating with seasonings: add lemon juice, oregano, salt, pepper, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder. Remove from heat.

In another skillet, brown the beef seasoning w/ salt and pepper. Drain the fat. Add the tomato mixture. Cook over medium heat, adding sauce from the other can of tomato sauce if needed. Add a little water to the mixture if it is too dry. It should be a thick sauce, not a runny liquid. Adjust all of the seasonings. Stir in the sliced olives and a handful of raisins. Cook until the raisins and olives are warmed.

Serve over rice and with a plate of sliced avocados topped w/ a mixture of garlic minced w/ lime juice and salt. Fry up some very ripe plantains for a side dish.

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