Beef and Pork Picadillo

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I was planning to start this post partying after a good week.  I don’t have class tomorrow, my great-grandpa turned 92 on Tuesday, I saw “The Hangover” (which was hysterical), for the first time I did the SMS recipe before the weekend it was posted, and it was only a balmy 88 degrees out today!  But then I saw that Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett passed away today, so somehow it didn’t exactly seem appropriate.  Mind you, that apparently hasn’t stopped me…

Anyway, with as hot out as it’s been, I don’t want to turn on the oven, the stove, anything.  I made a quick stir-fry earlier this week and ordered pizza last night, and tonight I made picadillo.  It’s a really yummy Cuban dish of ground meat, peppers, onions, garlic, and spices.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the recipe I’ve used before, so I looked at several recipes online to get some ideas, and then just tried to do what I remembered.  I thought it needed more spices, maybe a bit more kick.  Next time I think I’d add some red pepper flakes.  The whole thing came together in about half an hour, which was perfect for me, and would be great for anyone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen in this weather.  Best of all, it uses ingredients you probably already have sitting around!

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Your ingredients.  Before I’ve used all ground beef, but I had half a pound of ground pork sitting around, so I decided to use that with half a pound of ground beef.  Also, pretend there’s an onion in this picture.  Thanks.

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Brown your meat, and drain off the fat.

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While the meat is browning, chop half the onion, half the pepper, your tomato, and your garlic.  If you’re using fresh herbs, chop them now as well.

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Add your veggies to the pot and let them cook for a few minutes.  At this point, start your rice.  After the veggies have been in the pot a couple minutes, add your spices.

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Add your tomato paste, mix well, and then add the beef broth.  If you don’t have tomato paste or don’t want to use it, you can use tomato sauce in place of the paste and broth.

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Turn the heat down a bit, cover your pot, and simmer the picadillo for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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When your rice is done, spoon it into a bowl and put the picadillo on top.  Garnish it with whatever you want.  I just spritz it with a squeeze from a lime and mixed it together.

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Mike adds cheese, mixes it all together, and eats it with tortilla chips.  Really, anything goes!

Beef and Pork Picadillo

1 pound total ground beef and pork (or all ground beef)

1/2 green pepper, chopped

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1 tomato (I used 1/3 can petite diced tomatoes), chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1/2 c. beef broth

2-3 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. oregano

3/4 tsp. cilantro

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cooked white rice

1. Brown the ground meat, crumbling as it cooks.  Drain.  While the meat is browning, chop the pepper, onion, tomato, and garlic.

2. Add the chopped veggies to the drained meat for a few minutes, then add the spices and salt and pepper to taste.  Add the tomato paste and broth, or half a cup of tomato sauce, and mix well.

3. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer the picadillo for about 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.  Remember to stir occasionally.

4. Serve the picadillo in a bowl over cooked rice.  Garnish with whatever you want (we used lime and cheese- although not together).

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