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!