Picadillo is a classic Cuban dish. It is thought to be the forerunner of American Sloppy Joe's. I don't know about that for sure, but I like it lots more than I like Sloppy Joe's. It seems I like a lot of Cuban foods. Black beans & rice, Cuban sandwiches, picadillo...hmmm. Maybe I was Cuban in a past life??
There are a million and one variations of Picadillo (peek a dee yo). It seems like every one claims it is the 'authentic' version. I think you should make it the way you like it and just enjoy it. It is a ground beef dish that can be served over rice or used as a filling in tacos, etc. It is often paired with black beans and plantains. I just go with the rice. The thing that makes it unusual is that it has green olives and raisins in it. Some recipes use capers in place of the olives. I just love the salty/sweet combination. Here is a pic of my basic ingredients. I forgot to put the crushed red pepper flakes in the picture.
One medium onion, chopped
One bell pepper, chopped - I used frozen strips from my freezer that I chopped up
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 to 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1/3 cup green olives, chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1 or 2 (depends on how much meat) 8 oz. cans tomato sauce or 1 can diced tomatoes (I prefer the sauce)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
dash ground cloves
crushed red pepper flakes to taste
salt and pepper to taste
Hot cooked rice for serving
Hot sauce to taste at the table
Start by heating the oil and cooking the onions, garlic and peppers until they soften.
Add the ground beef and cook until brown.
When it is browned, drain the fat and add the chopped olives, tomatoes or tomato sauce and spices.
When it suits your taste, serve over rice and enjoy! Don't forget to add some hot sauce at the table, if you like it spicier. Of course, you can adjust everything to suit your tastes. Look up recipe for Picadillo and see what other people do. Adjust it to flavors your family may like. Have some fun!
Do you make your own rice, or do you use instant stuff? It really is very easy to make perfect rice with just a sauce pan. Add in the amount of rice you want and pour in twice as much liquid. Use a pan large enough that it won't boil over as it cooks. I used 2 cups of rice and 4 cups of water. This yields 4 cups of rice.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the water and turn it on to high heat. Allow it to come to a full boil and then set a timer for 3 minutes.
After 3 minutes are up, cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and let it simmer for 15 minutes. That's all. Perfect rice every time. My old electric stove burners heat up and cool down slowly. When I set the timer to 3 minutes, I turn another burner on to low and move the pan to that burner when the 3 minutes are up. That way it doesn't boil over on me once I cover the pan. If you have a gas stove, you won't have any problem with the temperature cooling down quickly enough.
Once in a while shake things up and try something new. You might love it, you might not. I scan through recipes and try to pick things that have ingredients we like. I don't care for dill at all, so that is a clue to not try THAT recipe. Of course, sometimes I go out on a limb. Sometimes dishes with ingredients I don't like turn out to be really tasty.