Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Master Treals Week 5: Rick Bayless' Picadillo

the master's picadillo

I've been wanting to make a picadillo for a while. So we made one with this recipe that we took from Rick Bayless, as it was Cinco de Mayo and Sarah felt it would be allowable to make a recipe from the guy who won Top Chief Masters last year. As I understand it, for a picadillo you can just kind of throw a bunch of shit in a pot, let it cook down, and then eventually serve it. Here's the shit we threw in our pot:

1 28oz can of diced tomatoes
1.5 lbs ground pork
1 diced onion
1 minced clove of garlic
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 slivered almonds (we toasted them first)
2 or 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

The recipe we worked from recommended adding a canned chipotle chili, but who knows where to buy one of those, so we used a delicious chipotle sauce that we found at Whole Foods.

Cooking this thing is really easy. Cook the diced onions in oil until they are soft and browned, then add the garlic and cook for a couple more minutes. Then add all of the pork, and cook that until all of the little pieces of ground meat are cooked and brown. Make sure to stir during this part so that everything cooks evenly.

Once the pork is cooked, just dump everything else in - the tomatoes, the vinegar, the cinnamon, etc. We actually added the chipotle sauce later, when it was almost finished, but I don't think it matters too much. At this point, just let the pot simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid from the tomatoes etc. is cooked down and the whole thing is "a thick, homogeneous mass," to quote the recipe we used. Doesn't that sound appetizing? This took about 4o or 45 minutes for us but your mileage may vary.

Overall, the whole process took maybe an hour, with only about half of that involving actual work - the rest was just simmering time. Serve over rice, with salad, (ours had shredded cheddar, tomato, avocado, cilantro and lime). This is a pretty large amount of food - even after a hearty dinner, there were 3-4 lunch portions left over (accounting for a roughly 1:1 ratio of picadillo to rice), so I was eating well for the rest of the week.

You could really mix this recipe up if you wanted to. Substitute beef for pork, add olives, use different spices, more onions, etc. Go buck wild and never let anyone tell you what to put in your picadillo, this is America.

a meal in honor of cinco de mayo

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