Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Picadillo: Cuban Hash

One of my best friends, Marirae Mathis, called this afternoon to get my picadillo recipe to make for her & hubby Bob for dinner.
I feel quite honored since she is an amazing Chef and owner of Who Cooks For You? Professional Chef Services by Marirae Mathis. She introduced me to Hasenpfeffer. I'm even happier after she texted me to tell me it was delicious. 
I've been told that many times by my Cuban ex-boyfriend and other friends who are familiar with Cuban foods, but coming from her it is quite an honor.

Picadillo: Cuban Hash
Picadillo is a traditional Cuban hash, popular throughout Latin countries. It is known in The Philippines as “giniling”. It is made with ground meat (usually beef) and tomatoes or tomato sauce – I use both. Other ingredients vary by country/region incl. fried egg, chopped carrots, etc. Every household has its own variation. 

It is typically served with rice and is also be used as a filling for empanadas. Mine is a basic, traditional picadillo recipe that I hijacked from a Cuban friend and tweaked to suit my love of spicy foods (meaning peppers). I love the salty, sweet flavors of the olives & raisins. The hot peppers are the one item that makes this recipe “non-traditional”.  

Olive Oil, just enough to coat the bottom of your skillet (add more later if needed)
1.5 - 2 lbs petite red potatoes, chopped (approx. 1/2-1" cubes, be consistent so they cook evenly)
5-6 garlic cloves(more or less to taste)
1 small Spanish onion, chopped
5-6 Serrano peppers, sliced thinly (I leave in the seeds)
1 lb of ground beef (I use ground sirloin)
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
1 TBS of ground cumin
26.5 oz box of Pomì brand chopped tomatoes (no preservatives), do not drain
8 oz (approx.) of Pomì brand tomato sauce ( no preservatives)
5.25 oz jar of sliced green olives
A couple handfuls of raisins (I use 8 oz for this recipe)
Black pepper, to taste

In a very large skillet over medium heat, sauté chopped potatoes in olive oil on medium heat until tender and slightly browned (about 20 minutes). I just cover the pan and let the heat do the work. I check it every 4-5 minutes to stir. Push potatoes to the side of the pan and add garlic, onions and peppers in the center, continue to sauté until onions are tender and the peppers burn your nasal passages (about another 5 minutes).

In a separate skillet, brown ground beef and cumin when beef is almost cooked through add wine, continue to cook a couple more minutes. Turn off the heat. Drain excess oil. Add to the potato mixture. Add chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce and combine. Add green olives and raisins (both to taste). You can also use a little of the olive juice to add some extra saltiness.

Let simmer on low for about 20 minutes. I simmer the picadillo while making my rice (also about 20 minutes).

The key to good rice: 
Bring water and rice to a boil, reduce heat and NEVER LIFT HE LID until cooking time is through. Serve with Cuban bread (available at Publix) and fried, sweet plantains (frozen at Publix).

Now just invite over a few friends (including me) to try your dish…

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