Cuban Picadillo Sirloin Soup Recipe

The flavours of jalapeño pepper and sweet apple work off each other nicely in this rich, spicy soup.

350 g cubed sirloin*
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
Drizzle vegetable oil
500 g lean ground beef
1 onion finely diced
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
3 sundried tomatoes (oil-packed), finely chopped
2 fresh jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 sweet red apple such as Gala, peeled, cored and diced
2/3 cup pimento-stuffed green olives (about 20 olives), thinly sliced
2/3 cup dark raisins
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin
2 cups water
1 796 ml can diced tomatoes (with liquid)
1 L beef stock
3 tbsp cornmeal
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds, for garnish

* Supermarkets often sell trays of sirloin sliced into cubes for fondue. If you cannot find these, purchase sirloin steak and cut into 1/2″ cubes.


Step 1: Spread sirloin cubes on plate or baking pan, sprinkle with chili powder, salt, pepper and flour. Toss with fingers to coat. Set aside.

Step 2: In large pot, heat the vegetable oil to medium-high. Break up ground beef into pot, add onion, garlic and salt. Cook, stirring, until meat is no longer pink. Transfer to bowl, leaving fat and juices in pot. Add sirloin to pot and brown all sides. Transfer to bowl with ground beef.

Step 3: Reduce heat to medium. Mix sundried tomatoes, jalapeños, apple, olives, raisins, garlic, chili powder, cinnamon and cumin in pot. Add reserved ground and cubed meat (plus all collected juices), water, diced tomatoes with liquid and beef stock.

Step 4: Simmer uncovered 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, skimming off fat. In last 10 minutes, sprinkle cornmeal into pot while stirring to thicken soup. Garnish with toasted almonds and serve immediately.

Makes 5 quarts

Andrew Grinton