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Monday, May 20, 2013

Picadillo (Cuban-style Beef Hash)

I was happy to see this recipe in a recent Cook's Illustrated Magazine. While Ty lived in Richmond, Virginia, he introduced us to "Kuba, Kuba" a Cuban restaurant and we often ate there when we visited him. Picadillo is on the menu but it since it is an awfully long drive from New Mexico I'm glad I can make it myself.


Picadillo (Cuban-style Beef Hash)

serves 6-8

CI prefers this dish prepared with raisins (me, too), but they can be replaced with 2 T of brown sugar added with the broth. Picadillo is traditionally served with rice and black beans. It can also be topped with chopped parsley, toasted almonds, and/or chopped hard-cooked egg.

1 pound 85 % lean ground beef
1 pound ground pork
2 T water
1/2 teas baking soda
Salt and pepper
1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 onion, halved and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 T vegetable oil
1 T dried oregano
1 T ground cumin
1/2 teas ground cinnamon
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped coarse
3/4 c dry white wine, if you don't cook with wine, substitute water or more broth
1/2 c beef broth
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped coarse
2 T capers, rinsed
1 T red wine vinegar, plus extra for seasoning particularly if you skip the wine

Toss beef and pork with water, baking soda, 1/2 teas salt, and 1/4 teas pepper in bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, pulse bell pepper and onion in food processor until chopped into 1/4-inch pieces, about 12 pulses. If you prefer, you can chop them finely with a chef's knife.

Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chopped vegetables, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, and 1/4 teas salt; cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and wine and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until pot is almost dry, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in broth, raisins, and bay leaves and bring to simmer.

Reduce heat to medium-low, add meat mixture in 2-inch chunks to pot, and bring to gentle simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally with 2 forks to break meat chunks into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces, until meat is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Discard bay leaves. Stir in olives and capers. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened and coats meat, about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar and season with salt, pepper, and extra vinegar to taste. Serve.

Note from Colette:

I believe that Kuba, Kuba serves with fried eggs on top. Ty, correct me if my memory is bad.


  1. In your photo it looks like this dish has potatoes but I didn't see it listed in the recipe?

  2. Yeah, you are right. Good eyes! It was a variation suggested by Cook's Illustrated but I didn't include it because it was an extra step in a recipe with lots of extra steps (roasting the almonds, boiling the eggs, etc.) Basically, you fry some potato cubes and add them to the toppings. Good to hear from you--I'll have to watch my steps ;).