Cuban Picadillo with ground beef, olives, and raisins cooked in a rich tomato sauce. It’s hearty, tasty, budget-friendly, and the ultimate comfort food. Serve with rice for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
The Philippines was a colony of Spain for 300-plus years, and to this day, traces of Spanish influence is in our use of Spanish names, religion, food, and culture. One traditional Latin dish you can also find in Philippine cuisine is Picadillo.
Adapted to fit Filipino tastes and local ingredients, I grew up enjoying this hearty stew at family dinners and special gatherings. This Filipino-style version is on my other blog if you’d like to check out the recipe and give it a try. Today, however, is all about the Cuban Picadillo which is purported to be the inspiration for all types of picadillo.
How do you make Cuban Picadillo?
Picadillo is made of ground beef, pork or a combination of both. The meat is first sauteed in garlic and onions until lightly browned and then simmered in tomato sauce until tender.
Green olives, capers, raisins, potatoes and other ingredients abundant in the region are commonly added to extend servings. The mixture is usually flavored with white wine and seasoned with ground cumin and oregano.
What do you serve with Picadillo?
Picadillo is traditionally served with steamed rice and black beans as a main dish. Fresh bananas, fried ripe plantains, or tostones are also common accompaniments for a delicious medley of sweet and savory.
Try this Cuban-style Picadillo recipe tonight; it’s easy to make, budget-friendly and absolutely tasty! The recipe can be easily doubled to feed a large and leftovers are great as filling for tacos, burritos or empanadas. You can also top the flavorful meat on tostadas or toss with your favorite pasta for a quick yet satisfying meal.
- 1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 green bell pepper, cored and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 cup pimiento-stuffed Spanish olives, sliced
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a wide skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions, bell peppers, and garlic. Cook, stirring regularly, until softened and aromatic.
- Add ground beef and cook, breaking into pieces with the back of a spoon, for about 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Drain excess fat.
- Add diced tomatoes and cook, mashing with the back of a spoon, until softened.
- Add white wine, water, and tomato paste. Stir until distributed and bring to a boil.
- Add olives, raisins, oregano, and cumin. Stir until distributed.
- Lower heat, cover and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes or until meat is tender and cooked and liquid is reduced.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.