Picadillo soup is comfort food for my family. This one cooked overnight while we slept. Well, partially, at least. The slab of beef was cooked with bones in the slow cooker. Then, I scooped out the bones, discarded them and cut the beef into cubes. Back into the slow cooker went the beef cubes along with the vegetables. Two hours later, the slow cooker Filipino picadillo soup was ready.
If you’re not a Filipino and you’re wondering why picadillo is cooked as a soup, you can refer to the non-slow cooker picadillo soup recipe for some background. Our version of picadillo soup at home is not even strictly traditional. We always go for maximum flavor rather than “authenticity” which has such a fluid definition anyway.
- 600 grams beef brisket in one piece
- soup bones
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- patis (fish sauce)
- 1 and 1/2 cups cubed carrots
- 1 and 1/2 cups cubed chayote
- 1 and 1/2 cups cubed potatoes
- sliced scallions to garnish
Place the brisket and soup bones in a large pot. Cover with water. Boil vigorously for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse the meat and bones. Discard the liquid.
Place the rinsed beef and bones in the slow cooker pot. Cover with water and cook on LOW for six hours. Without turning the slow cooker off, scoop out the meat and set aside to cool slightly. Discard the bones.
Heat the cooking oil in a saute pan. Saute the garlic, chopped onion, tomatoes and bay leaf. Season with patis and pepper. Pour into the broth in the slow cooker. Taste the broth and add more patis, as needed.
Cut the beef into one-inch cubes. Add to the broth along with the cubed vegetables. Cover the slow cooker and turn on HIGH. Cook the picadillo soup for another two hours or until the beef is ultra tender and the vegetables are done.
Taste the broth one last time and adjust the seasonings, as needed.
Sprinkle the slow cooker Filipino picadillo soup with scallions before serving.
Why did I not simply cut the beef at the beginning before it first went into the slow cooker with the bones?
Because, from experience, it takes at least six hours in the slow cooker to strip bones off their flavor to make good broth. Had the beef been cut ahead, the meat would be dry and stringy after six hours.
For the non-slow cooker picadillo soup recipe, click here.