Picadillo is a staple meal in Cuban, and many other Latin-American, households. Starting with a sofrito, a sauteed mix of onion, garlic, and bell peppers, the base of almost all Cuban meals, ground beef is added and cooked into a delicious tomato-based meal to be served over rice. The delicious meal is a favorite for adults and kids alike.
1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced,
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup white cooking wine
- 1 can baby peas drained
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce or 1 can of V8 (I like the bit of sweetness a V8 adds)
- large pimento stuffed green olives, quartered for garnish
- 2 ripe plantains, fried, or 1/3 cup raisins
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat; cook the garlic, onion, and green bell pepper in the oil until softened.
- Add the ground beef to the skillet. Break it apart into small pieces while browning.
- Once the beef is fully browned drain the excess liquid and put in the refrigerator so the fat can solidify and be removed.
- Add the white wine and vinegar and all the spices. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Then add the tomato sauce. Cover the skillet, reduce heat to low, and simmer for at least another 1/2 hour, adding water if it gets too dry.
- Take the liquid out of the fridge and remove the solidified fat. Add the remaining liquid back to the sauce.
- Meanwhile, make the rice to serve the picadillo over.
- About 10 minutes before serving, peel your sweet plantains and slice diagonally into 1/2 inch slices. Plantains will have mostly blackened skin and feel soft when they are sweet and ripe. Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a pan and fry plantains. When they are a golden brown color flip them and then fry the other side. If you are using raisins instead, add them along with the canned peas about 10 minutes before serving.
- Add the peas and olives and allow them to warm before serving.
- Serve the picadillo over rice with fried plantains on the side.