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.

Chef John
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

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  • 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.

  • Gently stir in sliced olives; cover and cook another 10 to 15 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

485 calories; 27 g total fat; 111 mg cholesterol; 1510 mg sodium. 26.3 g carbohydrates; 37 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (29)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
03/11/2018
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 which are a nice touch. She did, however put a small pile of fried potatoes in the center of each serving which added a nice crunch. Since she was not concerned with photographing her picadillo she served on top of a bed of rice and the fried potatoes provided the garnish. Another essential feature of her Picadillo was a side of tostones or fried plantains. Unfortunately, plantains can be hard to find in the Pacific North West. Her tostones were not sliced plantain chips but were inch long chunks that were fried twice. After the first frying they were cooled in iced salt water and then smashed, by hand, between two layers of paper towels before being fried the second time. Read More
(9)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
11/08/2019
Added 6 oz. cubed chorizo beef sausage. Easy to make but this particular combination of flavors wasn t really my thing I guess. Read More
49 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 38
  • 4 star values: 7
  • 3 star values: 4
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
03/11/2018
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 which are a nice touch. She did, however put a small pile of fried potatoes in the center of each serving which added a nice crunch. Since she was not concerned with photographing her picadillo she served on top of a bed of rice and the fried potatoes provided the garnish. Another essential feature of her Picadillo was a side of tostones or fried plantains. Unfortunately, plantains can be hard to find in the Pacific North West. Her tostones were not sliced plantain chips but were inch long chunks that were fried twice. After the first frying they were cooled in iced salt water and then smashed, by hand, between two layers of paper towels before being fried the second time. Read More
(9)
Rating: 5 stars
03/11/2018
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 which are a nice touch. She did, however put a small pile of fried potatoes in the center of each serving which added a nice crunch. Since she was not concerned with photographing her picadillo she served on top of a bed of rice and the fried potatoes provided the garnish. Another essential feature of her Picadillo was a side of tostones or fried plantains. Unfortunately, plantains can be hard to find in the Pacific North West. Her tostones were not sliced plantain chips but were inch long chunks that were fried twice. After the first frying they were cooled in iced salt water and then smashed, by hand, between two layers of paper towels before being fried the second time. Read More
(9)
Rating: 5 stars
03/08/2017
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 kitchen smelled like a 5 star restaurant as Peccadillo simmered away. Served with brown rice and garnished with Cilantro. Husband kept saying Yumm! and wants more!! Read More
(4)
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Rating: 5 stars
03/10/2017
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 raisins instead of currants. I really liked the combination of spices and that little bit of sweet you get when you bite into a raisin. I've never had Picadillo before so I can't comment on this tasting "authentic" or whatever but I do know that this tastes good! It is also very easy and fast to make for a weeknight dinner. Thanks Chef John! Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
04/09/2018
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. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
03/05/2019
Absolutely delicious Read More
(2)
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Rating: 5 stars
03/28/2018
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 served over rice leftovers are good so this could be made ahead and reheated with no problem. The combination of flavors is unusual but truly worked. BTW we didn't eat this in Cuba but wish we had since it was so much better than our meal there. I'm thinking of trying the recipe with deli chicken for a change but I wouldn't mind eating this every week. Thanks for a great recipe! Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
07/10/2017
Wonderful! I did use chorizo for.5 lb of the ground beef. Also no raisins. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
09/14/2018
I've done all the cooking at my house for over 40 years. This is the first dish with olives that my wife actually liked. Chef John ROCKS! Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
03/28/2017
This is a great ground beef dish with a wonderful blend of spices and flavors. We loved it Read More
(1)
Rating: 3 stars
11/08/2019
Added 6 oz. cubed chorizo beef sausage. Easy to make but this particular combination of flavors wasn t really my thing I guess. Read More