Picadillo estilo Cristina

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To prepare the meat

2 pounds beef brisket or other beef (pecho or suadero are 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 or lard (I prefer lard)
1 large white onion, diced
chiles serrano, minced (or more, if you have a good tolerance for picante)
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Mexican oregano, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
tiny pinch ground cloves
2 Mexican bay leaves
3 heaping Tbsps raisins
3 Tbsp sliced green olives
2 carrots, small diced
1 fresh ripe Bartlett or Bosc 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
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 Knorr Suiza 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 usually serve this picadillo with morisqueta (steamed white rice), refried beans, and fried plátano macho con crema de mesa. A meal fit for the gods…

Published or Updated on: February 6, 2009 by Esperanza © 2009
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