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Chef John's Picadillo

Rated as 4.81 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 21
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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 ...

Absolutely delicious

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!

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