Picadillo is a catch-all term for basically a Mexican meat hash. Everyone has their own favorite version, just like everyone also has their own “best” version of spaghetti sauce, meatloaf, and cat tacos, amiright?!
My preferred picadillo recipe includes potatoes, peas, raisins and green olives. It’s a sweet and savory combination that I love to death. This picadillo can be served simply as a taco filling, but it works great inside a chile relleno or an empanada, too.
I’ve seen picadillo recipes that include capers, almonds, plantains, carrots, and any combination of the above. It works best, I think, to have a mix of briny flavors (olives and/or capers) sweet flavors (raisins and/or peas) and a starchy addition (potatoes or plantains). Experiment with this recipe and see what YOU like!
And I know it’s terribly unhealthy and I’ll pay someday with arteries like lead pipes, but I love the mouthfeel of a kinda greasy picadillo. So I use ground chuck or something of that nature, something with about 15% fat and I of course don’t fuss with draining off the meat fat after cooking. Of course, of course, you may do so if you like. In fact, you could even do this same method with lean ground turkey or a super lean ground beef. Then you could make up a few my my low-fat baked crispy taco shells and throw some light sour cream on them sonsab*tches. And there you have it. A healthy picadillo taco. Who’d have thunk it?
Picadillo Recipe Video -scroll down for printable recipe card
Picadillo Recipe – Printable!Print
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 30 mins
- Yield: 4-6
- 1 Roma tomato
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup minced onion
- 1 jalapeño, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
- 3/4-1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup peas
- 1/3 cup raisins, soaked in a tablespoon of water
- 1/4 cup green olives, halved (about 10 small olives)
- Blanch and peel the tomato (watch video for instruction) and coarsely chop.
- Brown the meat in a large skillet until mostly cooked through. Add the onion, jalapeño and garlic and continue to cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until no longer pink.
- Add the chopped tomato, herbs, salt, potato and enough stock to barely cover.
- Simmer uncovered 20 minutes until potatoes are soft.
- Add the peas, raisins and olives and simmer another 5 minutes.
*Instead of the tomato, you could use a couple tablespoons of tomato paste added when you add the onions