Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Picadillo de Joaquin (Cuban Ground Beef)

Saturday we spent the afternoon learning how to make Joaquin's picadillo. It's a twist on the traditional Cuban version, let's call it *enhanced* as it includes Spanish chorizo! After lunch, as usual we enjoyed a fabulous "sobremesa" or post meal conversation - lots of stories, lots of laughs.

Joaquin, our Teacher


¼ cup olive oil
2 medium onion – chopped
1 medium green pepper – chopped
3 garlic cloves – minced
1 cup tomato sauce
1 tbsp tomato paste
½ cup of cooking wine (vino seco)
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
½ lb ground ham
1 medium chorizo – minced
2 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
Olives – to taste
Capers – to taste
1½ oz Raisins
¾ oz. pack Sliced Almonds
1 tsp steak sauce (optional)

The Process

Make the sofrito by heating the oil, adding garlic, pepper and onions (in that order). Lower the temperature and stir until the onions are translucent.

Add the tomato paste, tomato sauce and cooking wine to the sofrito. Stir occasionally.

While the sofrito continues to cook, combine the beef, pork, ham and chorizo salt and pepper until all the meats are well incorporated. This is best done the old fashioned way, with your hands.

Add the meat to the sofrito for about 20 minutes or until browned. Stir often breaking up any large chunks of meat.

Stir in the olives and capers. Cook for about 5 minutes. Taste for spices and add steak sauce if desired.

Add raisins and almonds. Mix thoroughly and take off the stove.

The Finished Product!
This recipe makes 8-10 servings and can be served traditionally over white rice with fried ripe plantains.

For a heartier meal, we added hash brown potatoes on the side and two fried eggs atop the picadillo – this is called “a caballo”.

Do you have interesting variations in your recipe? Let us know.

Until next time...¡buen provecho!


Nathan said...

My families Picadillo is very different.

No chorizo, ham, pork, black ppper, A1 sauce, almonds, tomato paste, vino seco.

Also the procedures and cooking technique are different as well as the color and look of the final dish.

The "raisins" are optional in my grandmothers... what province of Cuba is Joaquin from is it Oriente (because I know oriente has a very different style)?

Well if your interested in a more traditional style Picadillo how my grandmother makes it at home exactly and with a story on it here is the link AND PLEASE COMMENT I am interested in listening to your or other peoples opinions.


Nathan said...

On my browser it doesn't show the link, oh well just type theword "Picadillo" on my blogs search bar.

Nathan said...

Hilda in response to "what is authentic" or "traditional" when it comes to Cuban cooking (and this is all my opinion by no means fact)

To me traditional authentic cuban cooking is like you say, "emphasis on old school"

The recipes your cuban mother, aunts, grandmothers, grandpas etc. use to cook. The stuff that was delicious from your child hood that reminds you of your "abuelita" and stuff like that. The flavors you will find in a old cuban grandmothers kitchen that has been passed generation from generation.

Ingredients that Cubans would use and use (of course pre-castro because god knows how the communist dictatorship in Cuba has dumbed down our cuisine and cubans over there don't have access to the kitchen stuff available before Castro unless they work for the government in higher positions or their family sends them money)

The food that made you feel comfort as a child and you remember, all Cuban food varies from kitchen to kitchen we all got our secret to making it super special but we can agree on something being "Cuban"

I don't know if you get me, like see even if your recipe here has "twists" it's still Cuban because it is from the humble kitchen of "Jocquin" and he is "old school" I don't know if you get me? It's hard to explain.


But let me give you some suggestions on this recipe if you really enjoy it, (keeping it the same just some technique I want to share that could give keep it the same just improve it)

I strongly suggest that after making the "sofrito" add the beef before the tomato, make sure to brown the beef before adding the tomato products because "le levanta el dulcon"

Also if using raisins, olives and capers I suggest adding when tomato product comes to a boil after so it infuses and gives it a "sweet and sour flavor" if you browned the beef it only needs to simmer covered in the tomato product 5 minutes and your done.


Nathan said...

In my family we do have some Cuban dishes that are non-traditional.

Like my grandmothers "Congri de Coco" (feel free to look that one up it's soo good)

Also my grandmother does some things in a "Cuban Chinese style" due to the influence of Chinese particularily around Havana the old "Barrio Chino"

Like my grandma does some meat braised meats that use soy sauce but are done with Cuban techniques (it's hard to explain when I post it I'll show you)

Or she makes this thing where she stuffs "Wonton Wrappers" with Guava Paste and Cream Cheese then deep fries it.

purplepassion said...

I made this last night and it was FABULOUS! Super easy and so much tastier than my original picadillo which I hated! This was delish! I did not add the A1 sauce, honestly I don't know why he had that as an ingredient; he did use it.

purplepassion said...

oops...I just reread my previous comment. That should have been he did NOT use it.
He didn't use the A1 Sauce, so I don't know why he listed it as an ingredient.