I received this tasty and easy recipe from my son's Cuban grandmother. Serve it over black beans and rice with fried plantain on the side - amazing!
This recipe is very close to what Cuban Picadillo should be, but it was missing a few steps. I was pleased to see that all the ingredients were included, some people can't see why olives and raisins should co-exist in the same dish... try it, delicious. What I saw was missing was the beginning step. Picadillo, and practically all Cuban bean dishes are cooked into a "sofrito". A sofrito consists of a can of tomato sauce, an equal amount of water, garlic, onions, salt, and whatever herbs you prefer (typical cuban food uses a lot of oregano and I like to add cumin and a laurel leaf to my picadillo). Simmer the sofrito so that the garlic and onions start to cook and reduce the liquid to about 75%. Then add the beef to brown in the sofrito. Add the olives and raisins in as well so that the flavors incorporate with the rest of the pot. Add everything else in until the picadillo is cooked and the sauce is in the consistency you desire. Serve with white rice or a side of Frijoles Negros, some Cuban bread, tostones, and a salad... and you'll be a HAPPY CUBAN FOODIE! - 08 Jul 2008 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
being cuban ive eaten picadillo all my life at family get-togethers or restaurants and never, not once, have i had it with cilantro. traditional picadillo does not call for cilantro, so if you want to try picadillo at its utmost authenticity, omit the cilantro. it will be fabulously seasoned with the raisins and olives without the pungent odor or taste of cilantro. - 29 Jan 2009 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
I have been looking for a good picadillo recipe since I grew up in Miami and this type of cuisine is common. I love the sweet/salty flavors of the raisins (I used golden raisins, as I've never seen it served with black raisins in Miami) and olives. I'm not a big olive fan per say, but the flavors meld nicely that you don't go, "hey, this has olives, eww.." Almost all of the ingredients are there but I switched up the order. I started with the traditional Sofrito before I even cooked the beef. (Saute onions, garlic in olive oil until clear, then add cumin, oregano, red pepper, two 8 oz cans of Goya tomato sauce and red and green bell peppers then letting liquid reduce/thicken) To this I added the remainder of the ingredients and then let the liquid cook down into the ground beef. Don't worry if it seems like you're not actually "browning" the ground beef with all the liquid present as the sauce eventually evaporates and makes the beef very flavorful. I served this with white rice and tradionally seasoned black beans. - 23 Apr 2009 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)