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The word Picadillo refers to the hamburger, or literally, chopped or minced meat.  I've made this dish for years, but the refinement my daughter Cathy brought back from Guantanamo, Cuba, where she was stationed in the Navy, is far superior.   I tinkered a tad to hide more veggies, and here's a Latin treat for you.  

Cuban Style Picadillo

2 Tbsp olive oil  (Note #1)
1 lb. lean ground beef (Note #2)
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped fine
1 small carrot, finely shredded (optional)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced  (Note #3)
1/2 tsp
salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp ground bay leaf
2 packets of Goya seasoning with saffron (Sazon Goya con Azafran),
    or other Spanish type red-yellow seasoning, such as Bijol     (Note #4)
1/2 tsp Accent (optional)
black pepper to taste
1/2 cup raisins   (optional)
2/3 cup broken salad olives, drained
1/2 cup white cooking wine
8 oz. can tomato sauce
3 Tbsp tomato paste  (Note #5)

Heat the oil in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven.   Add the ground beef, onion, bell pepper, celery and carrot.  Stir and mash to break the meat into granules (a potato masher works great).  Cook until the meat and onions start to brown, stirring frequently.  Add the minced garlic and sauté, stirring constantly for another minute.  Add the seasonings, raisins, olives, cooking wine and tomato sauce.  Stir to mix.  

Turn heat to medium-low and cook, covered for about 15 minutes or until fairly thick, checking frequently so it doesn't stick or scorch.  Add tomato paste and mix in well.  Cook on low for another five minutes.   

Serve with Perfect White Rice, fried ripe plantains and a light green salad.   

Leftovers can be used the next day to make Spanish Rice or Sloppy Joes.


Note #1: If your priority is low fat cooking, you can reduce oil to 2 tsp, especially if you use a non-stick pan. 

Note #2:  I sometimes substitute 1/4 lb. of lean ground pork for 1/4 lb. of the ground beef.

Note #3:  If no fresh garlic on hand, substitute 1 tsp of garlic granules    

Note #4:  If no such seasoning is to be found, add 1 tsp paprika, and double the oregano and bay leaf.

Note #5:  Taste!  You may wish to add more or less tomato paste.  Freeze leftover paste.

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