Sunday, March 22, 2009

Filipino Picadillo (Fililpino Ground Beef Hash?)

I'm going to submit this recipe to Joan Nova from FOODalogues "Culinary Tour Around the World" (for more details click on link "Culinary Tour Around the World" on how to participate and check Jones Nova's wonderful blog) this event is to take a "virtual" trip around the world from a culinary perspective and along the way also helping raise awareness of world hunger as we "travel" around the world "via "BloggerAid" or the "World Food Programme" and other organizations." (Joan Nova)

In this trip we visit Philippines with this simple Filipino ground beef hash.

"Picadillo" in Spanish from what I have observed is any type of sauteed ground meat. Different countries and cultures have their own variation.

I learned this version of "Picadillo" from a very humble, kind, smart, hard working and intelligent woman who is also a really good cook names "Herminia" whom is my Filipino friend's mother (Shantall) I really enjoy and love when I get the opportunity to visit them, I am treated like family and welcomed and I love to share what I know about cooking and food and vice versa :)

Anyways let's focus more on this "Filipino Picadillo" from my observations I'd have to say this is a dish that is heavily Spanish influenced (by that I mean influenced by Spain) since Philippines at some point in history was colonized by the Spaniards and it's unique cuisine features some dishes that show the Spanish influence. I think this Picadillo is one of those dishes.

Reason being is that I immediately noticed the use of "sofrito" (the combination of garlic, onion, and bell pepper in addition to tomato in this recipe, this combination is also commonly used in Cuban cooking very heavily which also has strong ties to Spanish cuisine and shares many flavors and dishes with) it was very similar to the Cuban ground beef hash as well.

... yet it manages to be unique and hold it's own ground, I really recommend to any Cuban reading this who loves a good Picadillo to try this recipe out for a variation on "the usual"

-1 1/2 lbs ground beef or pork
-salt to taste (I used around 1-2 tsp. depends)
-ground black pepper to taste (about 1/2 a tsp. I used more or less to your liking)
-1 good pinch of mono sodium glut amine about 1/4 tsp. (msg, optional I do use it)
-1/2 a red bell pepper finely minced
-1/2 an onion minced
-1/2 a head of garlic about 6 cloves finely minced
-1 can 8 oz. of tomato sauce
-2-4 medium all purpose potatoes cut into small cubes (I mean small like tiny bite sizes)
-2 carrots more or less cut into tiny cubes

Optional Ingredients (I didn't use them because I didn't have them on hand and neither did Shantalls mother Herminia when she made this)
-1 handful of frozen peas for color
-1 can of Qual Eggs drained

(1)Add ground pork or beef to a hot deep pan with no oil or anything, and add about 1 1/2- 2 cups water just enough water to slightly cover meat, bring to a rolling boil with salt, pepper, and msg. Let boil on high heat until the water evaporates. This is done so the meat will render more of it's fat and also because in some countries this is used to reduce risk of unsanitary conditions with meat.

(2)Add onions and bell peppers minced and sautee until translucent on medium high, add garlic sautee a little longer, now add tomato sauce, and about another cup of water, bring together to a rolling boil and add potatoes and carrots. Adjust salt to taste.

(3)Cover and simmer until potato and carrot is tender about 7 minutes? Just check occassionally, towards end add peas for color and fold in qual eggs . When done serve with hot white rice (goes very well with Jasmine rice) and whatever sides you wish :)


This recipe is very quick and simple to make I was able to make it in under 30-40 minutes. If you forgot to thaw the meat, like I did just throw it in the really hot pan with water and cover on high, move around occasionally and help it break down by beating it with a spoon haha. While waiting you can chop everything and do all your prep work that's what I did when I made it.

You may also be interested in seeing a "Cuban" version Picadillo I posted in my blog so click below if you want to check it out:

Picadillo Salteado Con Papas (Cuban Beef Hash)