Mexican Picadillo

  • By: Jack Mancuso

Mexican Picadillo - Cuso Cuts

Picadillo is a dish commonly found in ​Latin American and ​Caribbean cuisine. In this region, people make it with ground meat, usually beef. The recipe also includes various spices, vegetables, and often tomato sauce. The exact ingredients and preparation may vary by region or household. Other common components are onions, garlic, peppers, and potatoes, with variations like olives, raisins, or carrots. 

I find Picadillo warm and comforting. It’s so easy to adjust the idea to flavors you personally prefer. Some uses for Picadillo are for tacos, gorditas, or with rice and beans. I


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 bell pepper, 
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 2 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tsp round cumin
  • 1 tsp smoky paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp Cuso's Roasted Garlic and Onion Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Cuso's Dust Seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil


  • In a large skillet, warm the oil over medium heat. 
  • Add the ground beef and cook until browned, breaking it up with a spoon to avoid clumping. You don't have to worry if it's still pink in spots because it will cook further as the blend simmers.
  • Stir in the onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables have softened.
  • Add the tomatoes, potatoes, carrot, green peas, and raisins to the skillet. Mix well.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato paste and beef broth until well combined. Pour this mixture into the skillet.
  • Stir in the cumin, paprika, dried oregano, salt, pepper, Cuso's Roasted Garlic and Onion Seasoning, and Cuso's Grass Seasoning. Mix everything together.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet, and let the Picadillo simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.
  • Serve it with fresh cilantro for garnish, if desired

Tip: Sprinkle with some cheese when serving.

PitMaster’s Memo: 5 Types of Picadillo

  • ​Mexican Picadillo: Often made with ground beef, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and spices such as cumin and chili powder. It may also include potatoes, carrots, and various types of peppers—a favorite filling for empanadas.
  • ​Cuban Picadillo: Typically prepared with ground beef, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and spices like cumin and oregano. Additional components include green olives, raisins, and sometimes capers. Try it on fried plantain.
  • ​Puerto Rican Picadillo: Made with ground beef, onions, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, and a range of spices. It can feature other components like potatoes, carrots, olives, capers, and raisins. The most common application for Puerto Rican Picadillo is with beans and rice.
  • ​Filipino Picadillo: Known as "giniling," it blends together ground pork or beef, garlic, onions, tomatoes, and various vegetables such as carrots, peas, and potatoes. It is typically seasoned with soy sauce, spices, sugar, and vinegar.
  • Spanish Picadillo: Also known as "picadillo a la española," this recipe consists of ground beef, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and spices such as paprika and bay leaves. Some variations include ingredients like peppers or peas. 



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