Picadillo is a dish mainly consisting of ground beef (sometimes shredded beef or chicken) typically found in Cuba, Mexico, and other Latin American countries, and in the Philippines. In Mexico it is sometimes used as a filling, such as for tacos, and can be mixed with vegetables. It can also be prepared as a type of stew.
Picadillo is a traditional dish in many Latin American countries; it’s made with ground meat, tomatoes, and regional ingredients. The Cuban version includes olives and on occasion capers, omits chili powder, and is usually served with black beans and rice. [from Wikipedia]
Picadillo is one of the comfort foods from my childhood. I remember asking or begging our maids to cook it for dinner. It’s ridiculously simple to make, and it’s delicious with rice. I watched them cook this for our family, and I’ve made several modifications to the original recipe, channeling Sandra Lee with her store-bought, ready-made items to replace ingredients that I did not have. I also added butter–I LOVE butter. Other Filipinos put raisins in their picadillo, I’m not a fan of them so they’re not included. Some people call this dish “beef and potato soup”…meh…too boring. Haha.
Here’s my version of one of my favorite Filipino dishes:
1/4 of a big white onion
1 medium size potato
1/2 kilo (1.1 lb) ground beef
2 c water
5 tbsp pasta sauce (I used Classico Tomato & Basil which was perfect because it still has the basic tomato taste and it has nice tomato chunks. OR you can chop about medium-sized tomatoes or one large tomato.)
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
freshly ground pepper
The cast of characters
1. Heat olive oil in medium heat in a Dutch pan. Add chopped onions and a pinch of salt, sauté them until they start to become transparent. Add butter and garlic. Sauté until garlic starts to turn golden brown.
2. Mix in the ground beef, freshly ground pepper, and about 1 tsp of salt. Increase heat to medium-high and allow it to cook for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to allow the meat to evenly cook.
3. Stir in the spaghetti sauce.
4. Add 2 cups of water and the potatoes. Stir and allow to cook in medium heat for about 7 minutes, or until the potato cooks to your liking. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. I highly recommend that you serve it with rice. I mean, really there’s no other way to enjoy this Picadillo. [Alternative: quinoa] Yumm, yummm!!!