Have you ever had Picadillo? It is a popular and traditional dish in many Latin American countries. Picadillo is made with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, green olives, and other ingredients that can vary depending on the region. I discovered it in a local Cuban restaurant years ago. It is typically served over rice with a side of black beans. I prefer it on top of Cuban bread as an open-faced sandwich. Well, I first tried it as a regular sandwich but it was too messy and spilling out all over (think sloppy joe).
Picadillo is good for a quick and inexpensive weeknight meal. It is one of the dishes I will make on a busy day when I do not have a lot of time to be in the kitchen. Not many dirty dishes to clean up either. Oh, and if you make it a day or so ahead it tastes even better! Plus it is a quick re-heat in a pan or in the microwave. Just remember to stop by the store and pick up some fresh Cuban bread (or French bread if Cuban bread is not available). My favorite side for this sandwich is shoestring potatoes. Potato chips go nicely with it also.
Taking a photo of Picadillo is yet another challenge. Ground beef, or beef in general, has a major difficulty factor of capturing it in an aesthetically pleasing manor. I am putting this one in the file of I tried my best (along with Rouladen). Surely the sprinkle of parsley and the pretty green plate helped…
What is your favorite Latin American or Cuban food? This is one of many for me. Let me know what recipes you would like to have and perhaps they will be in a future post. Until then, grab your knife and fork and dig in to a Picadillo sandwich. Enjoy!
Open-faced Picadillo Sandwich
Cuban bread (or French bread)
Picadillo (recipe below)
Cholula® Original Hot Sauce (optional)
Cut the Cuban bread into 2 to 4 inch slices. Cut each slice in half. Spread mayonnaise on each. Place bread on a plate and top with some Picadillo on each. For extra spice/heat add drops of the hot sauce on top. Serve with shoestring potatoes or chips. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from one by Daisy Fuentes
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
¼ cup pimento stuffed olives, chopped
1 tablespoon capers, chopped
Fresh ground pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more if desired)
1 can (8 ounce) tomato sauce
2 teaspoons tomato paste
Salt (if needed)
In a large skillet, cook olive oil and onions over medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant. Add ground beef, olives, capers, pepper, and red pepper flakes to the pan. Stir to break up the meat as it is browning. Once the beef has browned, add tomato sauce and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Cook on medium-low for at least 20 minutes. Taste and add salt if needed (the olives & capers should add enough salty flavor to the dish).
Note: The flavors of the picadillo will enhance if you make it ahead and refrigerate it overnight. Re-heat in a pan or in the microwave.