Cuban Picadillo is a delicious treat to enjoy with rice, yellow plantains, and even Cuban Black Beans. This ground beef recipe is filled with so much flavor from the fresh garlic, orégano, olives, and yes– raisins! Now before we dive into the raisins portion of this recipe, just know that Cuban Picadillo is a dish that will delight your friends and family. You can make it a variety of different ways all of which still give you a Picadillo that’s tasty, saucey, and downright delicious.
When making Picadillo de Res, I personally like to season the meat first in a mixing bowl with freshly mashed garlic, orégano, kosher salt, and black pepper. If you have sofrito or adobo on hand, feel free to use that as well. I like to season the grass-fed ground beef beforehand and let it sit for at least 20 minutes before cooking. Many like to season the ground beef straight in the pan, which is also something that you can do. Afterwards, I like to warm up a deep-sided skillet with the tiniest bit of oil and then saute the onions and peppers. Once that’s done, I like to move onto browning the meat and building layers and layers of flavor!
In my opinion, the best Cuban Picadillo is one that is velvety smooth and melts in your mouth. This means cooking the meat for longer than may be expected and adding some water as well to tenderize the meat. Now I know this may sound foreign to some, but trust me on this! Adding water to the meat and effectively braising it is going to give you a Picadillo that is super tender and soft. I personally hate it when Picadillo is tough, chewy, and even gamey. Braising the Carne Molida allows the meat to tenderize, which in turn gives you a Picadillo unlike any that you’ve had.
In the end, I like to layer flavors by adding an explosion of season at the end. Diced olives and raisins really play off each other with that salt and sweet combo. And of course, you can’t forget the extra garlic. Adding fresh garlic at the end makes the whole dish come alive. Potatoes are optional and make this dish even more filling!
For a step-by-step tutorial on How to Make Cuban Picadillo, visit my YouTube Channel– Chef Zee Cooks!
Want to learn How to Make a Dominican Style Picadillo – Carne Molida? Click right here for more goodness!