Cuban-Style Hash (Picadillo)


Picadillo is Spanish for “hash.” Essentially, this is a Cuban version of the good old American mélange, eaten on its own or used as a filling for empanadas. Spanish influences, specifically Andalusian, are obvious due to the addition of olives and raisins. Picadillo is often served topped with hard-cooked or fried eggs and is usually accompanied by fried plantains.

Cuban-Style Hash (Picadillo)
Serves 4
  1. Large skillet with lid required
  2. 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 30 mL
  3. 1 onion, chopped
  4. 1 each red and green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  5. 1⁄2 habanero pepper, minced
  6. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  7. 11⁄4 lbs lean ground beef 625 g
  8. 1 tsp dried Mexican oregano 5 mL
  9. 1⁄2 tsp ground cumin 2 mL
  10. 1 piece (2 inches/5 cm long) cinnamon stick
  11. 1⁄4 cup dry sherry 60 mL
  12. 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) tomatoes, with juice
  13. 1⁄2 cup dark raisins 125 mL
  14. 12 large pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced
  15. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  16. 2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
  17. Finely chopped fresh parsley
  1. 1. In skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, red and green bell peppers, habanero pepper and garlic and stir well. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until vegetables are very soft, about 10 minutes.
  2. 2. Increase heat to medium-high. Add beef and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add oregano, cumin and cinnamon stick and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add sherry and cook, stirring, until almost all of the liquid is evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  3. 3. Add tomatoes and juice, and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Stir in raisins, olives, and salt and black pepper to taste. Cook until olives are heated through, about 1 minute.
  4. 4. Transfer to a large deep serving platter. Sprinkle chopped eggs over top. Garnish with parsley. Serve hot.
  1. Tips
  2. You can substitute Cubanelle peppers for the red and green bell peppers if you like.
  3. I have used a habanero here because these peppers are common throughout the Caribbean, and I like the slightly fruity flavor they impart to this dish. However, it may be more common to find picadillo made with jalapeño peppers, even though purists suggest that jalapeños are not used in Cuban cooking. Both chiles do a fine job of bringing heat to this dish, so use whatever is easiest or suits your taste. If you’re using jalapeños, you’ll need 1 to 2.
  4. Instead of garnishing the entire dish with chopped eggs, transfer individual servings to warm soup plates or deep bowls and top each with a fried egg. Garnish liberally with parsley.
Judith Finlayson


Posted in Beef, Pork & Lamb, Chile Recipes, Recipes.


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