Thursday, February 16, 2012


{Recipe developed with the help of Stacey}

Picadillo is a latin American dish made using minced beef. I thought I was making a Mexican meal but according to Wikipedia my use of spices, herbs and fruit has made the recipe venture into Cuban territory.

Origins aside, this is a savoury yet sweet recipe. You may look at the list of ingredients and wonder how the hell it could taste good when it contains beef, apple, tomatoes and ground cloves - but just trust me on this one.

(Serves 4-6)

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large chilli, finely chopped (you can leave the seeds in if you like heat)
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
500g beef mince
1/2 tspn ground cinnamon
1/2 tspn ground cloves
1/2 tspn ground cumin
1 tspn smoked paprika
50g olives, chopped
60g sultanas
1 apple, peeled and finely diced
2 tins of diced tomatoes
1 cup beef stock
50g slivered almonds (or you can substitute in peanuts), toasted
1 small handful of coriander, roughly chopped (optional)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and gently fry the onion, garlic, chilli and thyme leaves until the onion has begun to soften. Add the beef mince and season it well with salt and pepper. Fry the meat until it is mostly brown.

Add the cinnamon, cloves, cumin and paprika and fry for 1 minute or until the spices are fragrant. Stir in the olives, sultanas and apple and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the tins of diced tomatoes and the stock and simmer the mixture for about 30 minutes, or until most of the moisture has evaporated. (You want it to be thick and saucey without being sloppy).

Add the almonds and coriander (if using) then serve with rice, in a burrito or in a taco.

Note: Recommended burrito/taco fillings are fresh lettuce, diced cucumber, diced tomato, guacamole, sour cream, grated cheese and tomato salsa.