Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Crock Pot Picadillo

I have to admit, I didn't make this Cuban dish in the crock pot....I mean, I was already using a large pan to cook the meat, onions and, I figured, I'm not going anywhere, why dirty my crock pot? I just left everything in the pan and covered it with a lid. I let it cook for about 1 1/2 hours on was just delicious!

So, am I falsely advertising this meal? Nope, not at all! For one, I figured that I'd get more readers to view the recipe if I included the words "crock pot" in the title (shout out to all you busy moms)....and secondly, this recipe, straight from the blog Skinny Taste, says to put the meat mixture into the crock pot! I'm just keeping the integrity of the original recipe alive! However, if you want to be a bit of a rule breaker like me, just cook it in the pan.....

Oh and two more little rules I broke.....I only used one pound of meat (it was MORE than enough) and I ONLY used capers.....this is strictly because my husband hates olives....but, believe me, if I had my druthers I would have olive-d this picadillo up! It was still delicious, though!

I served it over rice with warm flour tortillas. I also had salsa, chips and guacamole on hand. I don't know if that's keeping with this Cuban recipe or not....but, it was good and that's all that really matters. Enjoy!

  • 2 1/2 lbs 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 cup diced red bell peppers
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup alcaparrado (manzanilla olives, pimientos, capers) or green olives
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper, to taste
Brown meat in a large deep skillet on medium-high heat; season with generously with salt and a little pepper. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat up into small pieces. When meat is no longer pink, drain all the liquid from pan. Add the onions, garlic and bell peppers to the meat and cook an addition 3-4 minutes.

Transfer the meat to the slow cooker, then add tomato, cilantro, tomato sauce, 1 1/4 cups water, alcaparrado (or olives - or as I did, just capers) (I usually add some of the brine from the jar for added flavor- I added about 1 Tbl) then add the spices.

Set slow cooker to HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW for 6 to 8. After it's ready, taste for salt and add more as needed (I added a little more cumin and garlic powder at the end as well since the crock pot tends to mute the flavors of herbs and spices)**. Discard the bay leaves and serve over brown rice.

**Since I just used a pan and not the crock pot, I didn't think it necessary to add any extra spices.

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