A Good Food Diet Cuban classic with spiced ground beef
Think Cuba. Think cigars, Ché Guevara, Castro and classic 1950s cars. Also think picadillo (pronounced pee-kah-DEE-yoh), a very simple, everyday dish enjoyed throughout Cuba.
Picadillo is not Cuba-specific; it's a Latin-American dish that is highly popular in Spanish-speaking countries. You'll find it featuring in various forms (depending on the region) on Mexican, Spanish, Cuban and Puerto Rican menus.
This Cuban version has a unique combination of flavours and textures which will surprise the senses: minced beef, seasoned with a blend of four spices, and cooked in a tomato sauce with green apple, raisins and almonds. If you want to experience a touch of Havana heat, add the chilli and dig into real Cuban comfort food.
This Cuban Picadillo recipe is:
HOW TO MAKE CUBAN PICADILLO
- 30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil or sunflower oil
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 500 g lean beef mince
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or finely chopped
- ½ small red chilli, seeds removed, thinly sliced (optional)
- 2,5 ml (½ tsp) ground cinnamon
- 2,5 ml (½ tsp) ground cumin
- 1 ml (¼ tsp) ground black pepper
- 1 ml (¼ tsp) ground cloves
- 1 x 410 g can chopped peeled tomatoes
- 1 x 70 g can tomato paste
- 125 ml (½ cup) water
- 1 medium or large Granny Smith apple (green skin, sour apple), peeled, cored and diced
- 125 ml (½ cup) raisins
- salt to taste
- 60 ml (¼ cup) flaked almonds
Step 1: Heat oil in a pot. Sauté onion. Add the meat, garlic, chilli, cinnamon, cumin, black pepper and cloves. Fry until cooked, stirring frequently.
Step 2: Add rest of the ingredients, except the almonds, and simmer uncovered for 8 to 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Apples should be just cooked, but still firm.
Step 3: Stir in almonds. Add more salt if need be. Serve hot. The picadillo will keep in the fridge for 2 days.
- Sauté green pepper with the onion.
- Add sliced green olives to the dish, together with the almonds.
- In Cuba, picadillo is traditionally served with rice and black beans, but I use canned red kidney beans instead (it adds colour and loads of fibre).
- Use picadillo as a filling for tortillas, wraps or pancakes, or serve with nachos as a fun meal or starter.
GOOD FOOD DIET WELLNESS AND GLUTEN-FREE COOKING CLASSES!
Dalene Crafford is a professional food stylist, recipe developer, cookery team-build presenter and developer of the Good Food Diet.
With Dalene's Good Food Diet recipes you can enjoy a healthy lifestyle without sacrificing the pleasures of delicious food. Perfect for those who want to control their health or dietary conditions such as blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, overweight, food allergies and intolerances (e.g. gluten or lactose).
Good Food Diet recipes are wellness recipes, developed for busy people on the go. They are quick, easy, foolproof and scrumptious! Use them for your family's daily meals and for entertaining.
- Want to attend a Good Food Diet wellness cooking class in Cape Town on how to eat healthily while enjoying delicious, robust food? You'll find some of Dalene's recipes at www.conca.co.za.
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