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Chef John's Picadillo

Rated as 4.84 out of 5 Stars

"A Cuban creation, picadillo is one of the world's great ground meat dishes. I went with beef, but you can add some pork and/or chorizo. Serve it with rice."
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55 m servings 485
Original recipe yields 4 servings


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  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and break up into small pieces with a spoon or spatula as it browns. Cook until meat completely loses its pink color, 8 to 10 minutes. Add diced onion and salt. Cook until onions turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add pepper, cumin, cinnamon, bay leaves, and cayenne pepper. Cook 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
  2. Stir in red wine vinegar, crushed tomatoes, and water. Cook a few minutes while deglazing pan. Add currants; bring back to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook until meat is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Gently stir in sliced olives; cover and cook another 10 to 15 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 485 calories; 27 26.3 37 111 1510 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 18
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This is the genuine article. I was once married to a Cuban whose Grandmother made Picadillo a couple times a month and Chef John's recipe is very close. Abuelita did not include the olives ...

Wonderful!! As a devotee of Chef John, and living 1 mile out of San Francisco, I am happy to be the first to review! Between my cupboard, refrigerator and spice rack I had all I needed. My kitc...

This was different, but in a very good way! I didn't have red wine vinegar or pimento olives---so I used a little mix of red wine and balsamic vinegar and just regular black olives. I also used ...

So delicious, wasn’t sure about olives but my kids r pretty adventurous and they loved it. Added diced potatoes to it and I know it’s not the original recipe but it was so delicious with it.

Loved it!!! I made this to serve when we had friends over to see our photos from a recent Cuba cruise. I got many compliments and a request to bring it next time we go to a pot luck. Great serve...

Wonderful! I did use chorizo for .5 lb of the ground beef. Also, no raisins.

This is a great ground beef dish with a wonderful blend of spices and flavors. We loved it

Flavorful and easy! This is a "keeper" recipe. I served it over spaghetti squash. (Trying to be healthier.) The spiciness of the meat was a nice contrast to the sweet nuttiness of the squash.

The flavor was fabulous. Up there with La Teresita and Columbia restaraunt. I used ground turkey so it wasn’t really greasy enough ?? but that’s not the recipe’s fault :)