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Picadillo with habanera

    ▪︎2 tablespoons of oil
    ▪︎200 ml of cooking wine
    ▪︎1 kg of ground beef
    ▪︎100 g olives
    ▪︎50 g of raisins
    ▪︎20 g capers
    ▪︎2 carrots cut into small pieces
    ▪︎2 medium potatoes cut into small cubes
    ▪︎200 g chopped onion
    ▪︎1 tomato cut into pieces
    ▪︎200 g tomato sauce
    ▪︎200 g peppers cut into small squares
    ▪︎1 teaspoon of paprika
    ▪︎1 teaspoon of oregano
    ▪︎6 crushed garlic cloves
    ▪︎2 coriander leaves
    ▪︎1 bay leaf
    ▪︎1 tablespoon of brown sugar
    ▪︎Salt and pepper to taste

This recipe defines Cuban cuisine and its unique seasoning, based on natural ingredients integrated into the sofrito.

Picadillo is a simple dish of uncertain origin. The picadillo recipe is different depending on the country where it is made. Picar means to chop. Therefore, picadillo is minced meat, ideally with olives, tomatoes and peppers.

Picadillo is a food that is easy to prepare for Cubans. It works well for a meal without requiring too much effort to prepare it. In Cuba, picadillo is usually made with beef, but it can also be made with poultry or pork. Criollos like to add olives to obtain a salty flavor and raisins for a sweet flavor, in a very flexible recipe, which includes many ingredients, it is true, but not all essential, and which we do not always find suitable. elsewhere in our markets. Much less so in the strange and difficult times we live in today.

If I am publishing this recipe again it is because I realized that, without intending to do so, I finally had quite a few ingredients suitable for this very Cuban preparation.

First we prepare the Cuban sofrito. In a pan, preheated with oil, brown the onion, tomato and cut peppers. Then add the garlic, paprika, oregano and bay and coriander leaves, and cook for a few more minutes over low heat.

Then add the potatoes and carrots cut into small cubes. Also add salt and pepper to taste.
Then add the ground beef and mix all the ingredients well. Cook for a few minutes until the meat begins to change tone.

Add the olives, the tomato sauce, the cooking wine, the raisins, which I recommend hydrating in the rum beforehand, and the sugar. Cover the pan and cook for another 15 minutes over medium heat.
Finally we add the capers and olive oil if available.

If we notice that the picadillo has dried out a little, we can add the juice of a bitter orange.
Best served with white rice and fried plantains, avocado, fresh tomatoes and black beans to complete a very Cuban experience.
It doesn't matter if we can't find all the ingredients. For Cuba it has become difficult. So we see what is available in the pantry and we take all our will and imagination in both hands to prepare a personalized Cuban picadillo.

Picadillo with habanera
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