Thursday, April 14, 2011

Finally! Picadillo (Cuban Ground Beef)

Good morning fellow wictches! Here is my picadillo recipe.  I had a bunch of really good pictures, but let's say I have issues with my picture taking and downloading skills.  So you will have to use your imagination for some of this, but since I'm sure you have all cooked at some point in your lives you don't need to have pictures of onions and garlic and such.

1 1/2 lbs of ground beef (I purchase whatever is on sale)
3 cloves of garlic (minced),
1 medium onion diced
1 small green pepper (diced)
1 small can of tomato sauce.
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. Complete Seasoning (Badia brand) this is found in the latin section of your food market
 if you can't find that use Adobo.  Adobo has a more salt though.
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
Green olives
1 Bay leaf
Salt to taste
You don't have to dice everything if you don't want to, I just throw everything into a chopper and let it become mush.  Kids can't pick out stuff they don't like if they can't see it! 
Saute oinions, garlic, green peppers in olive oil over medium high heat.
Add your ground beef and brown, towards the end of browning add your oregano, cumin, salt, and Complete Seasoning or Adobo.  Once beef is browned add your tomato sauce, olives and bay leaf.  Stir and cover, cook for 30 minutes over low heat.  It should look like this.  Taste, and add whatever seasonings you want more of.  Addint more of the seasonings will not hurt it, just go easy on the salt.  Now don't freak out about the grease and oil in the pan.  I strain the sauce out and let cool.

Here is all the sauce and fat that was in the beef.  Fat has flavor but you really don't need all that gunk clogging your arteries, let chocolate cake do that for you.  I get a good deal on the beef, lots of flavor and I remove a lot of the fat.  Its a win win situation.
 This is the sauce and fat in the fridge hanging out being the star of the show.  I'm too sexy for this refrigerator (does anybody remember Right Said Fred?)  Again I digress, next.....
 This is when its finally done and I remove the fat from the top of the sauce.  I add the defatted (is that a word?) sauce to my cooked picadillo and reheat.
  Serve over white rice and Ta-DAAAAAAA!
It was really yummy!  Now if you double your beef increase your seasonings because this meal freezes beautifully.  Cook once eat twice.  Less effort, less electricity.

You can use this dish for tacos, just remove the olives and stuff beef into the taco or maybe a burrito, add your salsa and cheese whatever you like.  You didn't have to buy the seasoning packet with all that junk in it.  You can also serve this over spaghetti and pour your favorite sauce on top!  Ah...Cuban style spaghetti!  Oh and remember to remove the bay leaf!


  1. Well that looks uber-tasty. I will have to attempt this soon as my month of no red meat is over :)

    Thanks so much for sharing this.

  2. Hi Tea Witch! Try ground turkey, not the super lean stuff though. It will still be tasty!

  3. Could this be bulked out with red lentils too? With the price of all kinds of meat over here in Aussie, stretching it appeals. I doubt it would alter the flavour much?

    Sounds delish though, and shall be trying this one soon! (LOVE that it can be frozen too!)

  4. Don't know much about red lentis, but give it a try. You can also use turkey, is turkey as expensive as beef in Australia? Also this meal is usually served over white rice. From what my mom tells me they used to feed this to the men working in the sugar cane fields in Cuba. Its a stick to your ribs food.

    You can also reserve some of the meat or turkey after cooked and use it in chili, just add some beans (I used red and black). I'm always looking out for a way to stretch a meal. Let me know how it turns out for you. Remember to taste and add more seasoning to suit your taste.