Beef picadillo is a slow-simmered stew enjoyed throughout Spain and Latin America. In Cuba, sweet and savory additions like raisins, cinnamon, and olives are added for a unique and complex flavor profile. Of course, this Cuban dish wouldn't be complete without a hearty side of red beans and rice!
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Green Bell Pepper
In a small pot, bring 1 ½ cups water to a boil with a large pinch of salt. Drain and rinse the kidney beans. Halve, peel, and chop the onion. Once the water is boiling, add the Basmati rice, cover, and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes, until tender.
Core, seed, and remove white ribs from the bell pepper, then finely chop. Mince or grate the garlic. Chop the green olives and oregano leaves.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, tossing, for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the ground beef to the pan and cook, breaking up the pieces, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the olives, golden raisins, cinnamon, and the oregano to the pan and cook another 1-2 minutes, before stirring in the crushed tomatoes and as many chili flakes as you dare. Simmer the picadillo for 10 minutes, then taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
While the picadillo simmers, stir the beans into the rice to heat through.
Serve the picadillo over the rice and beans and enjoy!