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.
* Latin-American seasoned chopped beef — I got this recipe from net.cooks in the fall of 1983. It was posted by houxm!houxz!llf.
* Picadillo is a great favorite throughout Latin America, and every country has its own version. In Mexico it is much appreciated as a filling for tacos, empanadas, tamales and green peppers. In the north of the country it is popular on its own and is eaten as a main dish, accompanied by rice, beans, guacamole and tortillas.
* Variations: Instead of oregano and thyme, use a pinch or two of cinnamon and ground cloves. This makes an interesting difference in flavor, giving the dish an almost Middle Eastern taste.
* 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, best known for the beach resort of Acapulco, 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 before serving.
This is a delicious summer dish, good with plain rice.
* In addition to the almonds, I add fresh coriander leaves as a garnish.
: Difficulty: easy.
: Time: 20 minutes preparation.
: Precision: approximate measurement OK.
: Nancy Mintz : UNIX System Development Lab, ATandT-IS, Summit, NJ : ihnp4!attunix!nlm : Copyright (C) 1986 USENET Community Trust —–