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Mexican Cooking Project #3

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One more thought....most of the "easy" recipes I have for picadillo call for ground beef, or pork, or (best) a mixture of the two.   And there is a Cuban version of picadillo.

The law says you have to use raisins.   Gosh, y'all, if you don't like raisins, leave'em out.   <looks over shoulder for picadillo police>

I think there are a couple of votes for picadillo. If the 'ayes' have it, I'll post a recipe.

I'm up for whatever we decide, but am hoping we can do this next week, since I haven't caught up yet.


Picadillo is wonderful just as a dip with tostadas. Too bad we didn't think to do it for Superbowl. It's also good to stuff into chiles.


I'm not "voting" because whatever the majority decides is fine with me.

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I'm in for picadillo or pescado veracruzana, I like both of them. Chile rellenos stuffed with picadillo is one of my favorites. So are emapanadas stuffed with picadillo. I've got an empanada-style recipes from Veracruz that uses a tuna picadillo and puff pastry, making it a great little snack.

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This sounds really good, but I'm going to have to sit this one out as the next couple of weeks are too filled up already. I'll look forward to everyone's reports.



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Like the afore-mentioned pecadillos, picadillos vary widely, and seem to be quite personal, with every Mexican cook having their own version. I've made picadillo many, many times and probably never the same way twice. It's versatile, and a popular stuffing in Mexico. If you've ever had a chile relleno that had nuts and raisins in it, it was undoubtedly stuffed with picadillo. People in the north of Mexico ladle it into hot flour tortillas that they've smeared with butter. I've had it in tamales, enchiladas, and just piled in a heap on the plate. As I said somewhere, for many years it was my standard, go-to dish to take to parties where everyone was asked to provide an appetizer. I served it hot in a chafing dish with a basket of tostada chips alongside.


Cristina says she has a great recipe, so perhaps we should start with hers. But all of your Mexican cookbooks should also give several versions.


And anyone else that has one they want to post, let's do it. We can't start with too much information, can we?

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Here's the recipe I use for picadillo. It was given to me nearly 25 years ago by a dear friend in Mexico City, Sra. María Eugenia Mosqueda Mosqueda of Col. Cerro Prieto, who passed away recently.




To Prepare the Meat

2 pounds beef brisket or other stew meat (chambarete is what I use in Mexico) or 1 pound beef and 1 pound pork butt

1 small white onion, quartered

2 large cloves garlic

1 or 2 chiles serrano, split from the tip to near the stem end

1 Mexican bay leaf

1 Tbsp sal de grano (sea salt)


Cut the meat into large chunks, removing any excess fat. Place the meat into a large Dutch oven with the onion, garlic, chiles, bay leaf, and salt. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Skim off any foam that collects on the surface. Lower the heat and allow the water to simmer about 45 minutes, until the meat is just tender. Take the pot off the stove and let the meat cool in the broth. Remove the pieces of meat and finely shred them. Reserve the broth.



To Prepare the Picadillo


4 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large white onion, diced

2 chiles serrano, minced

3 large cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon Mexican oregano, crumbled

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

tiny pinch ground cloves

2 small Mexican bay leaves

3 heaping Tbsps raisins

3 Tbsp sliced green olives

2 carrots, small diced

1 fresh ripe Bartlett pear, peeled and diced

1 large tart apple, peeled and diced

1 large potato, peeled and diced (sometimes I use 2 potatoes)

3 large, very ripe tomatoes, rough chopped

sal de grano (sea salt) to taste OR 2 tsp Knorr Suiza tomato consomé powder (heresy, but I like the concentrated tomato flavor)


Warm the oil in a large, heavy skillet and sauté the onion, chiles, and garlic over medium heat until they turn a pale gold. Stir in the shredded meat and cook for 5 minutes. Add the cinnamon, pepper, oregano, bay leaves, and cloves, then, stir in the raisins. Add the chopped pear, apple, carrot, olives, and potato, and mix well. Add the tomatoes and salt (or Knorr Suiza) to taste, and continue cooking over medium-high heat until most of the moisture has evaporated. Stir often so that the mixture doesn't stick. Add reserved broth if the mixture becomes too dry as it cooks. Let cool, cover, and set aside. The picadillo may be made a day in advance and allowed to rest, refrigerated, so that the flavors blend completely.


I love to serve this picadillo with morisqueta (steamed white rice), refried beans prepared as taught me by Celia Gutiérrez Cortés of Michoacán, and fried plátano macho. A meal fit for the gods...

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Has anyone had luck with this? I have to get a few items and then I'm off to the races. I traded with another vendor at the farmers market yesterday and actually got a brisket, not remembering this thread until this AM. It's amazing how many of the other ingrediets are already in the pantry.


I think this one really deserves photos.


Can this recipe used for stuffing poblanos? I don't see why not.

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It certainly can. And frankly, picadillo is one of the traditional stuffings for chiles rellenos. Most of us norteamericanos are so accustomed to the cheese/beef thing that when we stumble across olives or almonds or raisins in our chiles rellenos, we're quite startled. But yet it's very common in Mexico.


Here's a recipe:

Poblano Chiles Stuffed with Spiced Beef Picadillo


Is everybody ready for project #3? I had originally thought we should shoot for every other week so that folks don't get burned out and want to quit. How are we doing? Are we still enthusiastic, or shall we slow down and skip a week? And after a pause, how about the fish dish several folks have requested....Snapper Veracruzana?

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Is everybody ready for project #3? I had originally thought we should shoot for every other week so that folks don't get burned out and want to quit. How are we doing? Are we still enthusiastic, or shall we slow down and skip a week?

Sorry- wasn't paying attention. Since I skipped pibil I think I'm jumping the gun.


I'll probably do it anyway as I have the brisket!

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