Sunday, 29 May 2016

Slow Cooker Picadillo

Picadillo, a traditional dish in Spain (the name comes from the Spanish word "picar," which means "to mince" or "to chop") and many Latin American countries as well as the Philippines is something that I’d been wanting to cook for ages and when I saw this recipe on Skinny Taste I thought “yay! 2 birds, 1 stone!”

Picadillo is made with minced beef, tomatoes and other ingredients that vary by region and is generally also supposed to have alcaparrado which is a special mix of manzanilla olives, pimientos and capers. Unfortunately I couldn’t source any so just used olive stuffed with pimento and separately capers which I think worked fine. Also, I think a green pepper should be used but we only had a yellow one left so that went in instead!

Other frequent additions include diced potatoes and raisins. I didn’t want to double carb as I would be serving over rice and I’d been bloating a lot at the time (pregnancy hormones!), although I have to say that versions I’ve seen with potatoes look delicious. But of course I do not like raisin / sultanas in savoury food (or anything cooked actually) so that’s never going to be a goer with me.

I’d be interested in getting hold of some alcaparrado and making this again to see if it makes a big difference but somehow I doubt it.

This can be served over rice as we have or for example as a filling for empanadas (maybe I should have done that with the leftovers actually).

Slow Cooker Picadillo
serves 4

1 tbsp light olive oil
500g beef mince
1 banana shallot, finely chopped
½ yellow pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
small tin chopped tomatoes
75ml dry white wine
100ml pasatta
½ cup (4-6 tbsp) pimiento stuffed green olives
1 ½ tbsp capers
¾ tsp dried Mexican oregano
½ tsp ground cumin
⅛ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
⅛ tsp cayenne
1 or 2 bay leaves
sea salt, to taste
a little chopped coriander, to serve

Brown the meat in a large deep skillet on medium-high heat; season with generously with salt and black pepper. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat up into small pieces and when the beef is no longer pink, drain all the liquid from pan.

Add the shallot, garlic and yellow peppers to the meat and cook for 3-4 minutes more.

Turn the heat up a little, add the wine and allow to simmer for a couple of minutes.

Transfer the meat and veg to the slow cooker, then add the chopped tomatoes and passata, spices and herbs, stuffed olives, capers and 150ml water.

Set the slow cooker to high for 3 to 4 hours or low for 6 to 8 (I actually cooked it on high for about 2 ½ hours and then low for a further hour). Before serving taste carefully for seasoning and adjust as needed.

Discard the bay leaves and serve over rice.

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