Check Out the Best Picadillo Recipe Ever!

Como Hacer Picadillo

Authentic Cuban PicadilloAuthentic Cuban Picadillo

How to Make the Best Picadillo Recipe Ever!

Growing up, Picadillo was a standard meal on our household menu. We didn’t think much of it.  My friends would chow down their meal with gusto when they were over, and I always wondered what the big deal was.

My family is from Cuba, and we moved to the United States when I was 5.  We (parents and three siblings) eventually settled in Texas and have since made it our home.  We love it here and are proud to be citizens of this great Country.

Picture of Mom & Dad at their Wedding in Cuba
Picture of Mom & Dad on their Wedding Day in Cuba

But, even though we are Americans in citizenship and in our hearts, we still make many traditional Cuban meals.

And, of course, Picadillo is one of the most common Latin American recipes. 

In line with our Spanish heritage, we often had this dish WEEKLY at our house. Yes, weekly!  And, we always loved it.

Picadillo is like the Cuban version of the American hamburger.

Picadillo is THAT popular in Cuba.  And, like hamburgers, you never grow tired of them!

The traditional Picadillo meal combines two of the things that I grew up most eating; mouthwatering Texas beef and lots of rice.

Did you know that Cubans eat a lot of white rice?  Well, at least this Cuban family did!  (and, black beans too but, that is for another post.)

Capers are an Integral Part of the Best Picadillo Recipe Ever!
Capers are an Integral Part of the Best Picadillo Recipe Ever!

Making an authentic Cuban Picadillo is a lot like doing crafts. You can choose to serve it with white or yellow rice or turn it into an empanada; it all depends on what works for you.

The Cuban version made in our home always contained regional ingredients like green olives,  plump juicy raisins, and capers. On special occasions, it also included sweet wine – and lots of it.  And, it was always delicious!

We typically accompanied the Picadillo with fried plantains or a simple salad. It’s such a filling dish, that you don’t need much else.

I must warn you, that this recipe makes a lot!  And, I mean a lot!  But, I guarantee that once you taste this delicious dish, you will be SO GLAD that you made that much!

This truly is the best Picadillo recipe ever!

At least, it’s the best that I have tried.  And, believe me I have tried many Picadillo recipes.

Of course, IF you are fortunate enough to have any left in the pan, Picadillo leftovers are delicious!  Heated leftover Picadillo is great wrapped in a warm tortilla or even on a hamburger bun. Yum!  And, Picadillo freezes well!

Best Cuban Picadillo Ever Recipe:

Best Picadillo Ever Simmering on the Stove
Best Picadillo Ever Simmering on the Stove

Recipe (Serves 10 – 12)

  • 4 lbs. ground beef
  • One medium to large onion, chopped finely
  • Two tbs. minced garlic

In a large pan, brown beef, onions, and garlic. Drain fat. Salt and pepper to taste.

Browned Meat, Onions & Garlic
Browned Meat, Onions & Garlic

Then, add:

    • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (don’t drain)
    • One bunch of green onions, chopped
    • One jar (5 – 6 oz.) of sliced green olives, drained
    • 1 3.5 oz bottle of capers, drained
    • 1 1/2 c. raisins
    • ½ to 1 bottle white merlot wine (This is a sweet wine, and it’s not white, as the name suggests. It has a light red color. I used Sutter Home White Merlot which is available in most grocery stores.)

      Sutter Home White Merlot
      Sutter Home White Merlot
    • Two bay leaves

      Add the Remaining Ingredients
      Add the Remaining Ingredients

Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes or more.

On the Stove
On the Stove

Serve with white rice.  And, then top with 1 cup of toasted almonds (optional).

Best Picadillo Recipe Ever Served on a Plate
Best Picadillo Recipe Ever Served on a Plate

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

And, while you’re here, you may want to check out some other delicious recipes such as Kathryn’s ever popular red cabbage and apple salad!  There’s a secret ingredient in the recipe that makes it truly is different but in a good way!

Happy Cooking!


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Tags : Cuban recipes

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