Friday, April 24, 2009

mommee melt's picadillo

My cousin gave my grandma her grandma-name back in 1970 or so, and "Mommee Melt" she will always be (now aged 91).

My aunt, the mother of that cousin and my dad's older sister, went to college with a Cuban girl that became her good friend. And one weekend when they visited my grandparents' home together, that friend taught Mommee Melt how to make picadillo.

Our family has never looked back. It's a must for special occasions and my brother-in-law asks for it every birthday. The tangy vinegary/tomato-ey meat sauce is a perfect foil to the raisins and olives that have been simmered in it till soft and succulent. SO yummy.

It's best served with Vigo's yellow rice, but barring that, a multigrain rice mix that you can buy in Japanese stores and mix in with your regular rice in the rice cooker works well, too. Or if you like white rice, the old standby, go for it!

You'll need:

1 lb. (about 450 g) ground beef
1 lb. ground pork or turkey
2 medium onions
1 large green pepper (or 4 or 5 Japanese piman)
olive oil
2 small cans tomatoes (I use 400 g cans - about 14 oz. each)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder (I usually just dump a heap of minced garlic in instead)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
pepper to taste
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup chopped pimento-stuffed green olives (I use about 1 cup)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup tomato juice or red wine (red wine is good)

Do this:

Chop the onions and green pepper and then brown in olive oil. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and meat, stirring constantly to break in small pieces. Add remaining ingredients and simmer slowly for about an hour.

Serve over rice. Nice with black beans or lemony baked kabocha squash on the side.

If you make this and enjoy it, let me know and I'll email my grandma on her Presto machine and tell her about it. She'd be tickled to hear your story, I'm sure.


K and S said...

this sounds delicious!

FOODalogue said...

I love picadillo...I'm glad to see you have totally left south Florida behind.

Anonymous said...

Oh the olives and raisins...good add.

Abigail (aka Mamatouille) said...

Thanks, K and S, Joan, and Duodishes! :)