Cuban picadillo is an economical, easy to make, delicious dish! It’s great served with rice or salad, and with wholesome ingredients, is a great ground beef recipe to add to your dinner rotation.
It seems fitting to be posting a Cuban recipe today. My in-laws are visiting, and I have very much appreciated the chance to pick their brains about cooking while here. In fact, one of the recipes you’ll see soon-ish on the blog I shot before dinner one evening (they cooked!). You can try all the Cuban restaurants you like, there’s nothing like good home cooked food. So, I’m sharing my recipe for Cuban picadillo today.
I call this one “my recipe” because while it was inspired by my in-laws’ cooking, I was kind of winging it a little based on what I remember of the dish being cooked and eaten at their house. My recollection and that of the Godfather are slightly different, but I think this can be attributed to his general indifference to picadillo compared to a dish like ropa vieja. We couldn’t agree on whether his mom adds bell peppers or not. I’m about 75% sure I’ve seen bell peppers in her picadillo sometimes, but he swears she doesn’t add them. So I didn’t – this time. I am adding measurements in the recipe for you though should you use them. The picadillo is delicious either way.
It’s also good for those of you on the higher protein low sugar diets… because surprise surprise, home cooked food is HEALTHY! When you know what goes into your food, you get to make choices about ingredients, and in general, you’re going to choose better options than the list of ingredients in anything prepared. And as far as Cuban beef recipes go, picadillo is one of the easiest to make. I always say I’m going to make extra to freeze for later, but we end up eating leftovers for days (on salads, sandwiches, etc) and there’s never any that makes it to the freezer. Maybe next time. 😉
I hope you enjoy this Cuban picadillo recipe! Serve with rice, salad, and maduros for a true Cuban meal!
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced (about a cup and a half)
- 8 cloves garlic
- 2 lbs ground beef
- ½ cup dry cooking wine
- 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
- ½ cup tomato paste
- 1 6 oz/165 g jar Spanish pimiento olives
- ½ cup raisins
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp cumin
- (optional) ½ cup diced bell pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet with a lid over medium heat.
- Add the onions, garlic, and bell pepper (if using). Cook for 8-10 minutes until soft and slightly translucent.
- Add the ground beef and cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the beef has browned.
- Add the diced tomato, tomato paste, cooking wine, olives, raisins, and spices. Stir to combine and then cover, reduce the heat to medium low, and allow to simmer 20 minutes.
- Adjust seasoning to taste and serve warm.