Picadillo is a spicy, but not “hot,” chopped or ground meat dish that falls somewhere between hash and mincemeat. It is usually made with beef, but there are also versions with pork, lamb, turkey, or fish. Picadillo is tasty and versatile. In Cuba, it is often served as a main course over fluffy rice, with black beans and fried plantains, or used as a filling for empanadas, stuffed potatoes, or shepherd’s pie.
- 1½ tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ cup diced onion
- ¾ cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 to 3 cloves)
- 1½ pounds lean ground beef
- 2/3 cup tomato sauce
- 1/3 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives, drained
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1½ tablespoons brine-packed capers, drained
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or dry sherry
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crumbled
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon sugar, or to taste
- Salt to taste
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté until the onion is translucent and softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more.
Add the beef and sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce, olives, raisins, capers, vinegar, cumin, oregano, sugar, and salt. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the mixture’s consistency is like that of a sloppy Joe. Serve hot or use as a filling.
This recipe serves 6 and includes 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving.