I've been in a bit of cooking rut as of late, but driven by my hunger for more flavorful and vivid dishes I've looked outside the border for new ideas. Picadillo is a classic Cuban dish that integrates ground beef with well-seasoned tomato sauce, fried potatoes, olives and raisins. Considered a comfort dish it is prepared frequently and typically served with rice and beans or stuffed in tacos or a chili pepper. I imagine it would also be delicious with fried plantains. Packed with a broad range of spices, flavors and goody nibs, I can see why this dish is a staple across dinner tables in Cuba.
From Food & Wine magazine
- 1 1/4 pounds ground beef
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup beer
- 1 1/3 cups drained canned chopped tomatoes (one 15-ounce can)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 pound baking potatoes (about 2), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup quartered and pitted green olives
- In a large stainless-steel frying pan, cook the ground beef until it is no longer pink. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the beer, tomatoes, tomato paste, cumin, coriander, salt, black pepper, and Tabasco sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large nonstick frying pan, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, raisins, and olives to the meat mixture. Cook, covered, until the potatoes are just done, about 10 minutes longer.