Picadillo often includes olives and potatoes in addition to ground meat and spices

Picadillo often includes olives and potatoes in addition to ground meat and spices

In today’s Seasonal Pantry, which you can read here, I explore the tradition of ground and seasoned meat from around the world. Some call it picadillo, others haché, larb, minche and even sloppy Joe but all follow a basic formula that calls for ground meat, aromatics like shallots and onions and seasonings, some fragrant, some sweet, some wildly spicy. As promised into today’s column, here are links to my versions of traditional recipes that incorporate ground meat. Do you have a favorite? If so, take a minute to share it in the comment section below.


Thai Salad with Lamb (Larb)

Classic Thai larb, with ground pork

Classic Thai larb, with ground pork

Thai-Style Pork  (Larb) in Romaine Leaves

Cottage Pie and Shepherd’s Pie

Italian Shepherd’s Pie

Sicilian-Style Shepherd’s Pie

Spaghetti Squash with Lamb Ragu

An Almost Traditional Ragu

Pork Bundles (Rum)• Makes 4 to 6 servings

This recipe first ran in a pairing column on July 14, 2004 (you can read the column here) that suggested this dish as a great match with Alexander Valley Vineyards 2003 North Coast New Gewurz. It will go beautifully with almost any gewürztraminer. 

  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 1 tablespoon superfine granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 20 to 30 cilantro leaves
  • 2 serrano chiles, preferably red, seeded and cut into a very thin julienne
  1. Heat the peanut oil in a wok and fry the pork until brown. Stir in the fish sauce and sugar. Mix thoroughly, then turn the mixture onto a plate to cool.
  2. Wipe out the wok, pour in the vegetable oil and set over medium heat. Dip your fingers in the beaten eggs and quickly trail them across the oil, first in one direction and then repeat, crossing the first threads at right angles. Continue until you have four layers and use a spatula to remove the netting and drain on paper towels. Repeat making nets until all of the eggs have been used.
  3. Take a teaspoon of the cooked pork mixture and lay it on the center of a net. Place a few cilantro leaves on top and a slice of pickled garlic. Follow with 2 strips of serrano, forming an X. Carefully fold the net around the pork to form a small bundle, like a parcel. Continue making bundles until all the pork is utilized.
  4. Lay the bundles on a platter, garnish with cilantro sprigs and serve immediately.

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