Tuesday, January 31, 2012


(pronounced "pee-kah-dee-yo")

This is what Cubans do with ground beef instead of making hamburgers. There are many different versions of it, but this one is most authentic:

2 Tbsp cooking oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, chopped coarsely
S & P to taste
½ tsp MSG (I leave this out)
1 lb lean beef, ground
1/3 c dry, white wine
2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped (or one 15 oz. can chopped tomatoes)
½ c dark or light raisins, pumped up in hot water
1/3 c pimiento-stuffed olives, sliced in thirds
1 seeded green pepper chopped in half-inch squares (I leave this out)

In the oil, sauté the garlic and onion for five minutes, stirring frequently. Add the seasonings, the meat, the wine, and stir again. Add the tomatoes, raisins, olives and stir. Add green pepper and cook only long enough for it to get thoroughly hot; it should retain crispness and color.

One of Picadillo’s charms is that all the chopping and slicing can be done in advance, the cooking requiring only a few (10) minutes’ time. The Cubans serve this dish with plain white rice, either in a separate dish, or with the Picadillo on top of the rice and its juices trickling down. (Enough for 3-5 people)

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