In other countries like Mexico or Cuba they call this dish Picadillo and of course they have their own version of preparing it, but very similar to this Filipino version.
This is one of the dishes that uses tomato base or the holy trinity of Filipino sauteing: garlic, onion and tomatoes. I usually have this frozen and ready to use, click here to check out my entry on tomatoes. If I ran out of my frozen tomatoes, then I'd use the canned whole tomatoes because those are pre-cooked and will cut down my cooking time.
Here's the recipe as dictated to me by my mother when I called her one time and asked her for the recipe. Back home she used the canned peas and fresh carrots.
3 tbsp canola oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 can whole tomatoes, or very ripe fresh tomatoes, chopped
3 lbs ground pork (or ground beef)
2 pieces bay leaves
2 tbsp annatto oil (recipe here)
6 medium potatoes, diced
freshly cracked pepper
1 bag (1 lb.) frozen mixed vegetables, do not thaw
1 cup raisins
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced long
Sauteing the tomatoes:
In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat some canola oil then saute the garlic until it is slightly browned. Add onions and continue to saute until they are wilted and translucent, then add the chopped tomatoes. Continue to saute until tomatoes are soft. If using fresh tomatoes this takes a little while.
Add the ground pork and the bay leaves. Turn down heat to medium and saute really well. This is important procedure because if not sauteed "really well", you'll have that oink, oink taste and won't be very appetizing.
Here's how to saute it really well:
Keep sauteing the meat mixture until meat is no longer pink. Turn down the heat to medium low and continue to saute, stirring occasionally until the meat renders its own juice or fat. Now, there's going to be liquid in the mixture and it needs to be cooked down. (at this point you can transfer this mixture to crock pot)
Season it with salt (about 1 tbsp) and stir in the annatto oil. Put lid on and keep it covered for about about 20 minutes, stirring once in a while.
Turn down the heat a notch keeping lid on and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender and the liquid is cooked down.
Add the potatoes and the cracked peppers then return the lid on. Turn up the heat to medium and continue to simmer until potatoes are almost tender then add the raisins and frozen vegetables (peas and carrots) and the red bell pepper.
Cook until potatoes are fork tender.
Serve hot over rice.
but this is what I had this time which worked good as well.
You can use your favorite vegetable combination.
Crock Pot Method
After the meat rendered its own juice or fat,
transfer it to a crock pot, add salt and stir in the annato oil
to the mixture, then mix in the rest of ingredients
and let it cook on low for about 6 hours...
....then go shopping