Picadillo is a classic Cuban dish made with ground beef, spices, olives, capers and raisins. Picadillo is incredibly tasty and easy to make.
This budget-friendly Picadillo recipe uses simple ingredients, it’s made in one skillet and it is super flavorful! Just the way my grandma used to make it!
Hi, this is Kathy from Lemon Blossoms, excited to share with you a little bit of Cuban cuisine. Just like this Ropa Vieja recipe, this ground beef Picadillo is one of the most popular Cuban dishes.
WHAT IS PICADILLO MADE OF?
Picadillo is a savory and sweet ground beef filling cooked in a tomato based sauce. There are as many variations to this dish as there are families in Cuba! Everyone has their own version and they are all equally easy and delicious.
WHAT SIDES GO WITH PICADILLO?
Picadillo is commonly served over White Rice with a side of fried ripe plantains or beans.
However, Cuban Picadillo can be used as a filling for empanadas, can be served over tortillas and makes the tastiest stuffed peppers! You can also serve it over lettuce leaves for a tasty low-carb meal!
HOW TO MAKE CUBAN PICADILLO
- In a skillet heat the oil and saute the onions and bell peppers until they become soft.
- Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook for about a minute.
- Add the ground beef and cook until cooked through and no longer pink. Add the spices and stir to combine
- Add the broth (or wine if using) and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Stir in the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, raisins, olives, capers and potatoes. Cover and simmer over low heat until the potatoes become tender.
- Stir in the chopped cilantro and serve.
TIPS AND NOTES
- Cut the potatoes in to small pieces, no larger than ½-inch. Potatoes need time to get tender. If you cut them too big, you may need to add additional liquid (broth) and cook them longer.
- When adding the potatoes, I try to push them down with a wooden soon so they are submerged in the stewing liquid. This will help the potatoes to cook evenly and quicker.
- You can skip the raisins if you prefer, however the little sweet bites really add a lot of flavor to this dish.
- My grandma used to make this dish with beef broth and only use wine for “special occasions” as she called them. Perhaps it is because she drank the wine instead? Either way, feel free to use whatever you have handy.
- Feel free to make this tasty recipe with ground turkey instead of ground beef.
- You can serve Picadillo with a big slice of cornbread. So good!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef (I use 93% lean ground beef)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons salt (use less if you are sensitive to sodium)
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¾ cup beef broth (you can use white wine as well)
- 1 15-ounces can tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- ⅓ cup raisins
- ¾ cup pimento stuffed olives
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 2 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼ inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (optional)
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and bell peppers and cook, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes or until soften. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook for about a minute.
- Stir in the ground beef and cook, breaking up the meat into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook until no longer pink.
- Add the cumin, oregano, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add the beef broth or wine and bring to a boil. Cook for about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, raisins, olives, capers and potatoes. Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 to 14 minutes or until the potatoes are tender, stirring a few times during the cooking.
- Add the cilantro and stir well. Adjust seasoning if needed and serve.
- Make sure you cut the potatoes into small pieces. Potatoes need time to get tender. If you cut them too big, you may need to add additional liquid (broth).