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Picadillo

Puerto Rican Picadillo Recipe - fragrant, flavorful ground beef stew with olives and raisins. Makes an easy and no-fuss lazy weeknight meal or for parties served as stuffing for bell peppers, tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and empanadas. Easy and very versatile dish ready in just 20 minutes!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Caribbean, Latin American
Keyword picadillo
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 400 kcal
Author Imma

Ingredients

  • 2-3 tablespoons (28ml-42ml) canola oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 teaspoons (10g) minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon (3g) cumin
  • ½ -1 tablespoon (1g-2g) smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon (1g) or more cayenne pepper , adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon (1g) or more oregano , adjust to taste
  • 1 small green or red pepper
  • 1 cup (225g) tomato sauce
  • 1 pound (453.59g) ground beef
  • 2 cups (244g) potatoes , optional
  • ½ cup (125ml) broth or water
  • 1 packet Sazon to taste or use beef or chicken bouillon
  • ½ cup (65g) olives , chopped
  • 1 green onion , diced
  • ½ cup (150g) or more raisins
  • 1 tablespoon (1g) or more cilantro , adjust to taste

Instructions

  1. Add about 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet followed by onions, garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne, oregano, sweat for about a minute.

  2. Then add bell pepper, tomato sauce, bring to a simmer, add ground meat, potatoes (if using potatoes ) and cook for about 7-10 minutes or more, while stirring frequently to prevent burning.  Add about ½ cup broth or water as needed until potatoes are soft and tender. 

  3.  Season with salt, chicken bouillon or sazon.

  4. Finally add olives, green onions, raisins, and cilantro, adjust for seasoning. Remove and set aside.

Recipe Notes

  1. Some recipes would call for cooking first the ground beef first until it’s nicely browned. But I’d prefer sauteing garlic and onion first for an added aroma and flavor mixed into the ground beef as it is being cooked.
  2. You may swap ground beef with ground turkey, chicken or pork, depending on preference.
  3. For the olives, you may experiment with the plain or fancy one. But most people would agree that pimento-stuffed green olives work best on this dish to balance out the strong, salty flavor of olives.
  4. You may also substitute potatoes with chayote depending on your preference.
  5. Sazon is a type of seasoned salt that is widely used in Puerto Rican and Latin America cooking - consisting of spices and herbs -  garlic, oregano ,cumin, paprika and annatto seeds.
  6. Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.