In a 4 to 6-quart heavy pot (preferably a Dutch oven), over high heat add 4 cups water, onion, garlic, jalapeňos, saffron, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring to a boil, add the rice and cover. When the water returns to a boil lower the heat so that it barely simmers. Cook covered for 30 minutes.
Using a blender or whisk, combine ¼ cupof sugar and the eggs. Set aside. Rub the butter into a 9 x 13 baking dish (it will feel like a lot of butter but it is necessary for forming the crust).
When the rice is finished removed the lid, use a fork to remove and discard the garlic cloves, onion slices, jalapenos, and any large pieces of saffron that have collected on the top. Gently fluff the rice with a fork and allow to cool.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Make the picadillo: heat a very large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. When hot, add the onion and bell pepper. Cook until softened and starting to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the ground meat to the skillet and break apart using a wooden spatula. Once the meat begins to brown add the remaining ingredients and cook, stirring frequently until the meat is no longer pink in the center and all liquid has evaporated, about 10-12 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt if necessary (usually ½ teaspoon).
Gently combine cooled rice with egg mixture. Spread half of the rice-egg mixture into the baking dish. Place baking dish in oven and bake until the top is set and firm, about 15 minutes. Spread the picadillo filling over the rice. Pour the remaining rice over the picadillo filling and spread out into a flat layer using a spatula. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of sugar over the top. Return to oven and cook for an additional 7 to 9 minutes until the top is set and starting to turn golden. For a darker crust you can place under a broiler until the desired color is reached (about 1 to 2 minutes).
Allow to cool 1 to 2 minutes before slicing into squares.
I just started mankig my own tortillas and it’s awesome. So cheap and delicious! I’ve used shortening, and those are okay, but my last batch I used vegetable oil (drizzling the oil in while mixing to make something crumb-like) and they were better than the shortening ones!