Beef picadillo was my favorite, as a kid, and still my favorite meal that reminds me of home. Simple ground beef with vegetables cooked in a freshly blended tomato puree. It does’t get any easier.
What are your go to meals?
Beef picadillo is definitely at the top of my list for easy meals any night of the week. The first night I serve it as is with warm tortillas and a side of rice and beans. I use leftovers to prepare tacos, enchiladas, tostadas or chiles rellenos!
Keep it simple.
Do you keep a full pantry? I am in the habit of keeping my pantry and refrigerator stocked with essentials. I always have potatoes, carrots and assorted vegetables. Rice and beans are a must when you need easy side dishes. Most times I cook my own beans, but I always keep a few cans just in case. My essential spices, not counting salt, are fresh cracked pepper, granulated garlic, cumin, oregano and good quality ground chile ancho powder.
Use fresh when possible.
Frozen and canned vegetables are convenient, but I try to use fresh when possible. Picadillo is one of those dishes that you can use up ingredients like produce. The fresh tomato puree gives this dish a more home-style flavor, just like mom used to prepare.
This is a variation of mom’s beef picadillo with potatoes. Have fun with it and add your favorite veggies!
Beef Picadillo with Vegetables
- 2 small russet potatoes washed and diced
- 2-4 tbsp Oil
- 1 pound ground chuck or sirloin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp granulated garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin or to taste
- 1 cup onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 large roma tomatoes roughly chopped
- 1 serrano chopped
- 1/3-1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
- 2 tsps chicken or beef bouillon powder
- 2 cups water
- 1 medium carrot peeled and diced
- 1 poblano diced
- 1 small squash calabacita or zucchini, diced
- Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a skillet and preheat at medium for a few minutes. Add the potatoes. Spread them out evenly and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and cook for 15 minutes, stirring now and then. Remove from heat and reserve.
- At the same time, preheat a large pot at medium heat for a few minutes. Add 1 pound of ground chuck or sirloin. If needed add a drizzle of oil. Season with 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp. cumin. Using a wooden, flat edge spoon, break up the beef and mix with spices. Cook for 7-10 minutes.
- To the beef, add the onion and garlic. Stir to combine and saute for 4 minutes. Mix in the carrots, poblano and squash. Add a pinch of salt. Saute for 3-4 minutes.
- While vegetables are cooking, transfer the chopped tomatoes, serrano, oregano, 2 cups water and 2 tsps. of bouillon to the blender. Blend until smooth. If you don't want to use bouillon, season with salt, to taste.
- Pour the blended tomatoes into the pot with beef and vegetables. Stir well to combine. When it comes up to a boil, taste for salt. Adjust if needed. Add the reserved potatoes back in. If you like your picadillo more soupy, you could add a little more broth or water combined with beef(or chicken) bouillon. Cook at a steady simmer for 15 minutes.
- Serve picadillo with a side of rice, beans and warm tortillas.