Cuban picadillo is an easy to make mince meat/hash that’s similar to sloppy joes, but less saucy. Cuban picadillo is traditionally made with ground beef, ground pork or both. It usually includes olives, tomatoes, raisins, potatoes, and white wine. Picadillo is also widely eaten in other Latin American countries, including Mexico and the Dominican Republic. The Philippines has a dish called arroz a la cubana that’s basically a combination of picadillo and the Latin American version of arroz a la cubana; a rice dish that consists of fried eggs, tomato sauce, and plantains.
More About This Cuban-Style Picadillo
Picadillo is usually served with rice, but can be used as a filling for tacos and empanadas. I like my picadillo to be saucy with a good amount of tomatoes. Hence, this recipe makes picadillo that’s saucier than traditional Cuban picadillo. If you intend to use this picadillo as a filling for tacos or empanadas, you can reduce the sauciness by decreasing the amount of tomato sauce.
I used to be skeptical about putting raisins in savoury dishes. I don’t know why, I guess it’s because I usually use raisins for sweet dishes like rice pudding. However, making picadillo and Moroccan food has made me change my mind about raisins in savoury food. The combination of raisins and olives in picadillo is simply amazing. I highly recommend not skipping the raisins and olives in this recipe, unless you have a dietary restriction. I didn’t include potatoes in this recipe, but you can add potatoes if you’d like. See the recipe below. Enjoy!
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- 450 g ground beef
- 1 green bell pepper (diced)
- ½ cup raisins
- ⅔ cup green olives (chopped in halves)
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 213 ml tomato sauce
- 2 medium tomatoes (diced)
- 1 packet sazon seasoning
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- ⅓ cup white wine
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot, with the stove on medium heat.
- Saute the onions and green pepper in the pot.
- Add the ground beef and cook until it's browned.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix everything together.
- Cover the pot and bring the sauce to a boil.
- Turn the heat to low and let the sauce cook for 15 minutes or until it’s your desired thickness. Stir the sauce occasionally as it’s cooking to prevent burning.
- Serve with rice.