Saturday, September 27, 2014

Cuban Picadillo

Picadillo is the name of a stew that originated in Spain. The name picadillo is derived from the Spanish word picar, which basically means minced. The recipe I am going to share with you today is the Cuban I find it the most delicious of the various picadillo recipes. The taste sensation  can best be described as Spanish with strong Caribbean flavors.

The Cubans use picadillo in a wide variety of dishes. In it's simplest form, it is served as is, like a stew, typically along side a mound of white rice. It is also served in taco shells and in flour tortillas. Sometimes it's served in a bun....think of it as a Cuban sloppy joe. Another favorite use is in empanadas...which are essentially turnovers baked with picadillo inside. However you like to serve it, this Sam Sifton recipe makes for great comfort food on cool fall evening. It serves six.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium-size yellow onions, peeled and chopped
2 ounces dried chorizo, diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 ½ pounds ground beef
 Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ripe tomatoes, chopped, or one 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and crushed
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 bay leaves
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of nutmeg
cup raisins
cup pimento-stuffed green olives


  1. Put the olive oil in a large, heavy pan set over a medium-high flame, and heat until it begins to shimmer. Add onions, chorizo and garlic, stir to combine and cook until the onions have started to soften, approximately 10 minutes.
  2. Add the ground beef, and allow it to brown, crumbling the meat with a fork as it does. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  3. Add tomatoes, vinegar, cinnamon, cumin, bay leaves, cloves and nutmeg and stir to combine. Lower the heat, and let the stew simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
  4. Uncover the pan, and add the raisins and the olives. Allow the stew to cook for another 15 minutes, then serve.

Pairing: Pacifico Mexican Beer

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