This Cuban Beef Picadillo is a protein-packed meal that’s loaded with flavor!
We’re spicing things up here today at the BHK friends and going international!
I came across Cuban Beef Picadillo for the first time a few months back when Tom and I had dinner at a Cuban restaurant while we were in Florida. I was hooked and knew I’d have to share the recipe here on the blog.
Talk about a simple, protein-packed dish that’s loaded, and I mean loaded with flavor!
Where did Picadillo originate?
Picadillo is a traditional dish in many Latin American countries. The word “picadillo” comes from the Spanish word “picar” which means to mince.
If you’ve never heard of Cuban beef picadillo, I’ll compare it to the American sloppy Joe, chili or hash. Similar, but honestly, so much better!
This traditional stew-type dish is made with ground beef, onions, garlic, tomatoes, raisins, red pepper, olives, red wine vinegar for some tanginess and spices like cumin, chili powder, cinnamon and red pepper for heat. I mean, how good does that sound?
I’ve also seen some recipes that add hard boiled egg and potatoes, but I opted to not add either to my recipe.
Traditionally, picadillo is served over rice, but you can also serve it in a bowl topped with a fresh biscuit, which is the way we enjoy it. It can also be used as filling for empanadas or tacos.
It’s a fabulous meal to make for a crowd because it’s budget-friendly and always a hit. I’m thinking this would be perfect for your Super Bowl party this year. It would make for a delicious change up from the usual Super Bowl fare.
It’s a spicy, flavorful, hearty dish that I guarantee will be a winner! Enjoy!
A Few Cook’s Notes for Cuban Beef Picadillo Recipe:
I added 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes for some spice, but if you like things less spicy, just add 1/4 teaspoon.
Please don’t skip the cinnamon. It works so well in this dish.
As mentioned above, you can serve the picadillo over white rice or as a filling for tacos. We like to enjoy ours in a bowl topped with a freshly baked biscuit.
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 lb. ground beef
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups crushed tomatoes in puree
- 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2/3 cup small pimento stuffed green olives
- 1/2 cup raisins
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook for one minute. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking it up with a spatula, until it's browned. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the tomato puree, red wine vinegar, roasted peppers, bay leaves, cinnamon, cumin, chili powder and red pepper flakes and stir until well combined. Cover and simmer over low heat for 25 minutes. Uncover and add the olives and raisins and mix until combined. Continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes. Serve in bowls topped with a freshly baked biscuit or over white rice.