Spicy Cuban Picadillo

Picadillo is an traditional ground beef Cuban stew that's a little reminiscent of chili. There are many variations and even more possibilities. Serve Picadillo over fluffy rice. Fold it into a corn tortilla Stuff it into Chile rellanos. Use it as a filling for potato skins. Nachos. Tacos. Tamales. Or, our favorite, these buttery, flaky pastry, picadillo-filled empanadas. Incredible!

3 Tbl Habanero Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded, cored and chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 oz Sazon
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1.5 lbs ground chuck
1/4 cup pitted green olives, whole or sliced
1/3 cup raisins (we use golden)
1 Tbl dried Mexican Oregano
2 Tbl Worcestershire Sauce
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 small potato, diced
Frozen puff pastry sheets

In a dutch oven, heat the Habanero Extra Virgin Olive Oil over medium heat. Add in the onion, bell pepper, garlic, Sazon and ground cumin. Saute until softened and fragrant-about 5 minutes. Add in the ground beef, olives, raisins and Mexican Oregano. Cook until no longer pink-about 8 mins. Add in the Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, stock and potatoes. Cover and simmer for 15 mins or until the potatoes are fork tender. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper if needed.

To use Picadillo to make Empanadas:

Cut the puff pastry into 6 inch rounds. Using your finger, rub a little water onto the outer edge of the pastry. Place 2 Tbl cooled Picadillo filling onto one side of the pastry round. Fold over, stretching as needed to cover the filling, and crimp the edges with a fork. Brush the empanadas with egg wash-one egg beaten with a little water-this step is optional but does result in a deeply golden and shiny empanada.

Bake in a 350°F oven for 8-12 mins or until golden brown.

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