Picadillo (NEW)

Lovely Meal

This is a Cuban dish, traditionally served with fried eggs. It can also be accompanied by fried plantains or rice and peas.

Serves 4

Preparation Time:  5 Minutes
Cooking Time: 20 Minutes + 1 1/2 Hours to pre-cook the beef

 2 lb boneless beef, diced  2 1/2 teasp fresh chillies, finely chopped
 3 tblsp cooking oil   6 firm,ripe tomatoes,peeled and chopped (or 2 16oz cans tomatoes) 
 1 large onion, finely chopped  1/4 teasp ground cloves 
 3 garlic cloves, crushed  2 oz small pimiento-stuffed green olives
 4 medium red/green peppers, finely chopped  1 1/4 oz seedless raisins
 1 1/2 tblsp white wine vinegar  1 teasp sugar


Place the beef in a large, heavy saucepan, add 1 teaspoon of salt and a few grindings of pepper, and pour in enough water to cover the meat by at least 2 inches. Bring to the boil over a high heat, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat to low, partly cover the pan and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours until the beef is tender. Drain the beef and chop it coarsely or shred with two forks when cool enough to handle.

Heat the oil over a moderate heat in a large, heavy frying pan. Drop in the onions, garlic, peppers and chillies and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently until the vegetables are soft but not brown. Add the tomatoes, cloves, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and some ground pepper. Cook briskly, still stirring, until most of the liquid in the pan has evaporated and the mixture is thick enough to hold its shape almost solidly on the spoon. Add the olives, raisins and vinegar and stir for a further minute or two.

Serve with rice,  fried eggs, fried plantain, whatever you like.