Here is my family recipe for Picadillo, which I have slightly adapted over the years to my wife’s taste (she’s Cuban-American). And I will say it’s a better taste now. I used to not like Picadillo, and had to eat it with bananas or crackers to mask the taste. Now, it’s a family favorite.
1 lb ground beef (non lean) get the one with some fat for more taste.
1 small can of tomato sauce, I recommend hunts, no salt added.
1/4 chopped green bell pepper
1/4 chopped red bell pepper
1/4 chopped yellow onion (vidalia onions are hard to find but are the best) if you get the tiny Spanish ones use half.
1 teaspoon of minced garlic. I buy the one that comes minced in oil in a small jar. No point in buying whole garlic.
1 bay leave.
Salt to taste, probably half to 1 teaspoon.
1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin.
1 teaspoon Sazon Completa (complete seasoning)
1/4 cup white wine (pick your favorite ), dry vermouth is good
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
First make what we call the sofrito. Sauté the veggies in the canola oil along with the spices, some salt and pepper and just a dab of the tomato sauce so it absorbs the tastes. Don’t let it dry with too much heat but it should summer like a fajita. Once it starts to turn slightly brown or the garlic starts to look roasted, lower the heat just keep it warm for now. Toss in the beef, bay leaves, olive oil, the rest of the tomatoe sauce and keep to a slow boil, turning and breaking up the meat as necessary, so that there are no chucks. And then leave at medium heat ( a very low boil). Stir occasionally. Now add the white wine, the rest of the tomato sauce and the Spanish olives. Let it cook on medium to low heat (too much heat will dry it) for about 15 minutes. A little goes a long way. Also, don’t add more salt, once it’s cooked and not as watery it will be salty. Let me know how it goes 🙂
PS. I created this for a special friend 😉 and she said it came out great. She also added capers and ginger which I have never thought of. Cubans aren’t big on ginger. Capers are usually included in the recipe, so props to her for putting that in too. I don’t use capers though, I think it is more of a Spanish thing than it is Cuban. Enjoy! And please comment below if you try it.
Cuban Man v. Cuban Food