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.
In Spanish, picadillo is a ground-or-minced-meat-and-tomato dish. The version I grew up with is a soup. My father (who was a really fantastic cook) used to cook picadillo with either potatoes or chayote, depending on which vegetable was available. So did I, until one fateful summer night in 2003 when I just felt that the beef AND chayote combo was already too boring, while beef AND potatoes just looked too colorless.
It was Speedy who suggested a medley of vegetables. And to make the soup even more chunky, instead of ground or minced meat, I opted for cubed beef short ribs. A little adventure in the kitchen turned out a new version of picadillo that my family couldn’t get enough of! These days, of course, with Sam having gone vegetarian, only three of us — Speedy, Alex and I — get to eat picadillo.
- 600 grams beef brisket in one piece - (or other stew cut)
- 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.
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