Cuban Picadillo is the ultimate quick and easy dinner packed full of flavor. The saucy combination of ground beef, sofrito and tomato sauce makes it irresistible.
Picadillo holds a special place in my heart. It was the first Cuban dish I attempted to make on my own. I had seen my mom and grandmother make it countless time, even helping with the sofrito. However, it’s one thing to make it under the watchful eyes of your relative and another to make it on your own. It may not seem like a big deal, you just make the food and eat it. Yet, when it comes to dishes that you’ve grown up with, there is a sense of pride in executing it the same way your grandmother did. There a levity to knowing that you’ll be able to pass the same traditions off to your children and grandchildren.
I’ll never forget the first time I made it for my husband, who claims that it’s his favorite It was one that I continue to make more than any other as my kids love it too.
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Tips of Cuban Picadillo:
- The key to Picadillo, or any Cuban dish for that matter, is the sofrito. Similar to the holy trinity for Cajun cuisine, sofrito is comprised of diced green bell pepper, yellow onion, and garlic. Black bean soup? Sofrito. Arroz con pollo? Sofrito. Ropa Vieja? Sofrito. Sofrito, much like cafecito, is non-negotiable.
- Take the 5 minutes and make the fried egg. Something magical happens when you combine the acid from the tomato sauce, the starchiness from the white rice, and the fat in the egg yolk. It’s a winning combination and you will not regret it.
- Green olive are optional. They add a great brininess to the dish. My household is not entirely in love with green olives, so I tend to leave them out.
- Sazon is another key to this dish. The turmeric and saffron give it a distinct flavor that is hard to match. It’s 100% feasible to make sazon from scratch, however, there are some other ingredients that can he hard to come by.
Picadillo is incredibly easy to make and just so darn good. It’s the perfect meal to throw together under 30 minutes. I hope you love making it as much as I do. Enjoy! 🙂
Cuban Style Picadillo
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium green bell pepper diced
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lbs ground beef
- 1 8oz can tomato sauce
- ½ cup dry white cooking wine
- 1 packet sazon
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp pepper
- salt to taste
- ½ cup green olives optional
- Heat the olive oil in a medium sized pot or large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to glisten, add the green bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Saute the vegetables until they are soft and translucent.
- Add the ground beef to pot. Break up the meat using a wooden spoon and allow the beef to cook through completely. If needed, drain any excessive grease.
- Add the tomato sauce, dry white cooking wine, sazon, green olives, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper and salt to taste. Stir to combine and allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Serve the picadillo over white rice and a fried egg. Enjoy.