Classic Cuban Beef Picadillo

Picadillo is Lorenzo’s home style comfort food, and one of the easiest to make as well. It’s best described as a cuban-style hash and is a popular dish in Latin America, and there is a similar recipe from the Phillipines as well. In the beginning of my cooking adventures, this was Lorenzo’s dish to make for me whenever we wanted a cuban dinner. He would cook this meal for me and I would get a nice break from the kitchen. However, this is the one dish that I learned by watching and “by ear” and it’s just as good as my husbands version.

*NOTE: This is my best attempt at the amounts that I’ve used since there are no “written recipes” for cubans!! This is best served with plantains, but I didn’t have any on hand, so the next best thing was bananas!! Also, this is always better the next day, and you can use any leftover meat to make those savory pastelitos!!! YUM!

Cuban Picadillo

Adapted from my husband & MIL

1 pound ground beef ¾ cup of Raisins 1 handful of pimiento-stuffed green olives ½ cup dry white wine 1 ½ tablespoons of  Olive oil 1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce 1 teaspoon of tomato paste 4 garlic cloves, minced 1 medium onion, chopped 1 green bell pepper , chopped 2 tablespoons of cilantro, chopped finely 2 tablespoons of cumin a pinch of cumin seeds 1 1/2 teaspoons of Sazon Seasoning **Mainly sold at latin supermarkets** 2 bay leaves salt & pepper to taste


1.Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat.

2. Prepare the sofrito, which is the Cuban trinity, consisting of onions, garlic & bell peppers. Add the sofrito to the pan and sauté until onions are soft, about 4 to 5 minutes.

3. Add ground beef and sauté until cooked. Add all remaining ingredients except the cilantro.

4. Simmer until picadillo thickens, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Add the cilantro and discard the bay leaves. Serve picadillo over a bed of white rice, and plantains.

Review: This is a quick meal to make whenever we’re in a mood for some Cuban comfort food, and it always puts Lorenzo in good spirits. He says its a nice reminder of his mom’s home cooking. Enjoy!

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