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!