Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Picadillo – Cuban-style Hash

Picadillo – Cuban-style Hash recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Picadillo has been on the list of things I wanted to try making for a couple years now. Just the word “Picadillo” is enough to make everyone in my family start laughing. The first time I was served this meal; my 13 year old brother had been responsible for making dinner that evening. He mistakenly read the ¼ TEASPOON of dried cloves as ¼ CUP of whole cloves. (In his defense, my little brother is a great cook today. We all had to learn through trial and error in the kitchen, right?)

You can only imagine what that dinner tasted like. In our family, you never ever threw food away, so my mother carefully sifted through the entire dish, removing every last clove. Her efforts did improve the dish, but wow. There was enough lingering clove flavor and aroma in that dish to scent our home for days.

When I started cooking this meal, I had no idea what Picadillo was supposed to taste like, but I was excited to find out. Picadillo is a Cuban-style hash. It is both savory and sweet and has a fantastic combination of flavors from all of the very different ingredients. Every recipe I found included ground beef, peppers, tomatoes, onions, raisins and olives. The 1/8 teaspoon of dried cloves provides more aroma than taste to this dish and I liked it that way. My husband, my brother (yes, I did make this for the same brother while he was visiting us last month – poor guy, the jokes will never end) my kids and I all enjoyed this meal very much.

I think this would also be fantastic with some added heat. Next time I make this, I plan to add some chiles as well. I’ll just blame my New Mexican influence on this Cuban dish.

Picadillo – Cuban-style Hash
Recipe slightly adapted from Three Guys From Miami

2 lbs ground beef
2 tablespoons light flavored olive oil
1 large onion, diced finely, about 1 ¾ cups
2 large green bell peppers, chopped small, about 2 cups
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 (14-15 ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes, fresh tomatoes can be used as well when in season
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup green olives, chopped small, I had a hard time finding them unstuffed, so I finally just bought the ones stuffed with pimentos and they worked great
1/3 cup raisins
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat the olive oil and then add the onions and bell peppers. Saute for about 5 minutes, until the onion starts to soften. Add the garlic and ground beef and continue cooking.

Press the onions and peppers into the ground beef. Crumble the meat mixture as it cooks, until it is browned, about 5 more minutes. Add the tomatoes, oregano, cumin, cloves and cinnamon and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low, cover with lid and simmer 15 minutes.

Uncover the skillet and add the olives and raisins. Simmer another 5 minutes or so. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice and Enjoy!

Picadillo – Cuban-style Hash recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen



  1. ooohhh.. yea, 1/4 cup cloves would just about ruin anything. lol
    Love picodillo... I've not found a really good recipe before this.. can't wait to try it!

  2. I made picodillo once and LOVED it! thank you for reminding me!! your recipe sounds delicious - wonderful flavors
    mary x

  3. This looks really great! The flavors seem fantastic too.

    I love dishes I can serve over rice. I can not seem to find enough things to do with brown rice, we eat it so often.

  4. I can always count on you to introduce me to new south of the border ideas, this has such exotic flavors, those pimentos and olives with the spices sounds heavenly to me. Great photo, too.

  5. I have a feeling I would LOVE this!

  6. So interesting and so sorry for your brother! Never heard of this but do like the name and it is a very pretty dish.

  7. Oh this looks so delicious and flavourful! Love this meal idea.

  8. Love the story. I had a good laugh that you served this dish to him. It looks fantastic and a little extra heat sounds perfect!

  9. I must say that your dish tasted WAY better than my aromatic failure of so many years ago. Thanks for the re"hash" of old memories.

  10. Oh, your poor brother! My Aunt once used salt instead of sugar in a Cherry Pie and she has never lived that down either.

    I love the sweet and savory flavors in this dish and I particularly like the cinnamon and cloves. We have a nice little Cuban restaurant not far away with some great food.

  11. This sounds wonderful. I love the combinations of flavors, sound very flavorful. I love your story.

  12. I can just see your sweet mom picking out that clove. Thank you for sharing. As always, you offer me a post both delicious and inspiring. I'm sitting down with a piece of fresh cornbread. Yum! And I'm already looking forward to a weekend of more baking and writing. I only wish I had a bowl of this for lunch tomorrow!

  13. Wow! This looks like the Real Deal--which I rarely see. Cuban food can be very complex in spicing--but it is typically not chili-hot.

    I had to laugh about the cloves---you can only imagine how pungent they made that hash!

  14. What smells like cloves in here? Ha ha, that was one heck of a miscalculation that your brother did!

    Your picadillo sounds really great. I'm doing a Cuban pork roast shortly, I'll keep this in mind as a side dish.