What is Cuban Picadillo?
Cuban picadillo (pronounced “peekah-dill-ohz”) means minced meat or ground beef. It is cooked with sofrito, tomatoes or tomato sauce and spices. Many Latin countries and even the Phillipines all have their own versions. Even people from different parts of Cuba have their own versions. My Cuban mother in law taught me to use tomato sauce, but her mom (abuela) used tomatoes. Both of them add green olives. Some people like to add raisins for a little sweetness and others like to add capers for a little saltiness.
The other day the question was asked in one of the Cuban recipe Facebook groups that I belong to, “What is the most important Cuban dish that everyone should know how to make?” The majority of people answered picadillo and I happen to agree. Why? Picadillo can be like a stepping stone to so many other recipes. Once one knows how to make picadillo then we can make other things such as pastelitos de carne, empanadas, and papa rellena. Another variation is picadillo con papas (potatoes). Even the way the potatoes are added can vary. I was taught to just add peeled and cut up potatoes but I have seen people add potatoes that have been fried or oven baked first. Stay with me and I will show you both ways in upcoming recipes.
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