Have you ever had picadillo? Picadillo translates to a meat “hash.” It is very common in Latin American countries and the neatest part is that each country has its own variation.

I recently began doing a weekly live cooking show on my Instagram (@_baileysophia) where I challenge myself to cook a meal from a different culture. This week’s theme was Cuba.

Cuba is a small country that has such a rich culture. I may be biased, because my great-grandfather was from there. He was born and raised in Santiago de Cuba, where Bacardi comes from. So, I was determined to manipulate the flavors in this dish until it tasted completely authentic to me.

The Cuban version of Picadillo is a tomato-based, ground beef dish that begins with a sofrito. Sofrito is a combination of tomato with spices, garlic, onion and peppers. After that, you add in vinegar, raisins, potatoes and green olives to it. The combination may sound wild, but trust me — Cubans have this balance of flavors thing figured out.

I served the dish over white rice and I encourage it. Please reach out if you love it, too!


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 1 large potato
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium pepper (green or red)
  • 2 tbs. cup seedless raisins
  • 1/4 cup green olives
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tbs. white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • black pepper to taste


  1. In a large pan on medium-high, heat 1 tbs. oil and cook onion and pepper until tender (about 5-7 minutes).
  2. Add in minced garlic, spices, salt/pepper, and tomato sauce. Stir.
  3. Once fragrant, add in the ground beef and cook until browned.
  4. In a separate pan, heat the other tbs. of oil on medium-high to crisp up your cubed potatoes (about 7-10 minutes). Stir/flip them consistently so they don’t burn.
  5. Add the potatoes, green olives, raisins, and vinegar to the pan, stir, and let the flavors come together for 15 minutes on medium-low.
  6. Serve over white rice.
  7. ENJOY!

Please feel free to reach out to me and let me know what you think! If you’re active on social media, tag me in your food posts @_baileysophia so I can see your creations.

Have a request of something you’ve been craving? Let me know — it just might influence next week’s column.