Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Picadillo – Close, But No Cigar

I’m not sure if you’ve had picadillo before, but I’m very sure you’ve almost had it before. This Cuban creation is one of the world’s great ground meat dishes, and fairly similar to sloppy Joes, as well as bean-less chili, or as a chili connoisseur would call it, “chili." 

I went with beef here, but pork can be added, as well as chorizo. Often fillers like diced potato and squash are added, but since I serve this over rice, I typically don’t include those. I used to be more into hot, starch-on-starch action when I was younger, but these days, not so much.

As I mentioned in the video, many consider the olives optional, but for me, they’re one of the keys to the dish. Those briny bites reset your palate as you eat, which makes every bite seem like the first. Having said that, not everyone does olives, but I still really hope you give it a try soon – with capers. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 portions:
2 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (85/15 lean/fat)
1 cup diced yellow onions
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
3 cups crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup currants or raisins
1/2 cup sliced green olives, or to taste


Tracey said...
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mortalhuman said...

It looks good, but I think, for me, I would rather make slow cooker chili with the majority of these ingredients.

Moca JoJo said...

I sometimes put sliced green olives to my tomato meat sauce pasta. It's very interesting to me that Cuban and Italian dishes have similarities.

By the way, thanks for mentioning that currants are small raisins. I now can go back to my supermarket and complain that they charged me "raisin" price for currants (cheaper) at the bulk section!

Hilversum said...

So our family is staunchly anti-olive but we are okay with capers (might be a texture thing, or a fickle thing) so what proportion of capers would be appropriate? ½ cup olives == 1 tbsp capers??

Hilversum said...

Incidentally you should follow this up with a Cincinnati chili recipe, if only to blow the minds of the folks who can't understand cinnamon in a chili. (recommended recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/206953/authentic-cincinnati-chili/)

cdb said...

Watching that large bubble try to broach the surface around 3:47 was intensely suspenseful, and then you cut before it popped!

S/V Blondie-Dog said...

YiKeS Chef! Me thinks dat' if my abuelita were to still be around dat' she be a cooking up dat' there Picadillo in sum' annatto oil along wit' sum' big chunks of onion and bell pepper along copious amounts of capers and olives. And me also thinks dat' she'd be a smacking your nalgas wit' a chancleta for having forgots da' Sofrito. C'mon Man! How can ya' forgets da' Sofrito! Love ya' anyways!

JHReid said...

Hi John! Great recipe!

Can you suggest anything for someone who doesn't live olives? Would chopped gherkins work?

Jeremy said...

When did you drain the fat from the browned hamburger? Mine always has an excess of grease. Did you do it after the onion or before or not at all?

mattjeast said...

Thanks for the recipe, chef! I made it last night, and it was fantastic.

Scott Barber said...

Looks good to me... but I have a "picky eater" to deal with. I'd have to disguise the olives with a further chop. You mentioned capers as an alternative... how much?

Sergio said...

We use potatoes in our Picadillo...never heard of adding olives or any other items besides potatoes. Being from Mexico, perhaps that is the twist we use. Really enjoy this dish.

Aerys Bat said...

Good recipe but don't substitute capers 1:1 for olives! They are much more pungent and salty.

ev w said...

Made this recently, it was so good. I changed nothing. Really liked the 'building of flavors.' I agree with Chef, currants were the better choice, for me anyway.

Donald said...

How well does this go with a hamburger bun/Sandwich vs rice

Emma Dupont said...

Thanks again for a stellar recipe chef John! Made this last night, didn't chance a thing, and it was a huge hit! Simple and delicious. Would make again for sure!