I've partnered up with Have An Olive Day! to share my mom's cuban picadillo recipe. When I'm craving comfort food, this is one of the first dishes that comes to mind.
Picadillo is ground beef cooked with tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic and olives. Olives are a must and they should be Spanish queen olives. Pimento stuffed olives are also acceptable, but ideally just really great quality olives.
Raisins in Picadillo?
Some people add raisins to their picadillo recipe. I personally, do not. Raisins in picadillo tend to be a bit of a contentious topic in Cuban cuisine. Some people love them and don't eat their picadillo any other way while others find them disgusting. I belong to the latter group. However, if you like raisins in your picadillo, feel free to add half a cup at the same time you add your olives.
Traditional Cuban Picadillo Recipe
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 Lb ground chuck beef 80/20
- ½ Teaspoon of salt
- 1 Large onion chopped
- 4 Large garlic cloves minced
- 1 Green bell pepper deseeded and chopped
- 1 Red bell pepper deseeded and chopped
- 2 Large tomatoes chopped
- 1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
- ¼ Cup dry white wine
- 2 Teaspoons cumin ground
- ¼ Teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 Teaspoon oregano
- ½ Teaspoon of black pepper
- ½ Cup of Queen olives pitted
- 2 Tablespoons of olive brine from the olive jar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, stir in the ground beef. Once your beef is browned, drain out half the liquid and fat then return back to the stove at medium heat. Add the onions, green peppers, garlic and tomatoes. Stir well and allow it to cook a few 5 minutes.
- Once your onions have become translucent, add the tomato sauce, wine, seasonings, olives and olive brine.
- Lower the heat to low and cover. Cook for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, add salt and pepper to taste then serve with white rice, platanos maduros or just enjoy in a big bowl by itself.