Yield: 6 Servings
3 T olive oil or vegetable oil
2 lb ground beef, lean
1 lg onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
3 md tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1/2 c almonds, slivered
1 jalapeno chili, seeded and chopped (or more to taste)
1/2 c raisins (soaked 10 minutes in warm water)
1/2 c pimento-stuffed olives, halved crosswise
1/2 t oregano
1/2 t thyme
1 T butter
Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet. Add the beef and saute
until it is lightly browned, stirring to break up any lumps. Add
the onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes longer. Add all the
remaining ingredients except the butter and the almonds. Mix well
and simmer, uncovered, over moderate heat, stirring from time to
time, for 20 minutes.
In a small skillet, heat the butter and saute the almonds until
they are golden brown.
Mound the beef onto a serving platter and sprinkle with the almonds.
Surround it with a border of rice.
Variations: Instead of oregano and thyme, use a pinch or two of
cinnamon and ground cloves.
In Chihuahua, the apple is left out and 4 medium potatoes, cooked
and cubed, and about 2 C cooked green peas are added to the beef
at the end of the cooking time for just long enough to heat them
through. This makes a nice one-dish meal.
Picadillo de la Costa from the state of Guerrero, uses the tropical
fruits in which the region abounds, and instead of beef uses an
equal mixture of ground pork and veal. The method is the same but
the meats, with the onion, garlic, tomatoes, hot peppers, salt and
pepper, are cooked, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Then add about 1
1/2 C pineapple chunks, 2 pears (peeled, cored and cut in chunks)
and 2 bananas (peeled and sliced) are added and the mixture simmered
for 15 minutes longer over low heat. Sprinkle with almonds just
In addition to the almonds, I add fresh coriander leaves as a