Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Picadillo (Carne picada con papas): Receta

This is a fairly easy recipe and is good to eat, too. Around here you can even buy it in a burrito from many of the local quick-stop burrito places. Because this was only for a lunch meal and just for two people, I did not make a lot, so bear mind you may have to double the recipe.

Picadillo (Carne picada con papas)
ingredients for picadillo
1 pound ground sirloin
1 medium potato
1/2 medium salad tomato
1/2 medium bell pepper
1/8 cup onion
1/8 cup cilantro
1/3 can tomato sauce
1 1/2 tsp Mixed Spice
1 clove of garlic

Begin by add mixed spice, clove of garlic, and enough water to get spices wet in your molcajete and grinding it down, until it looks something like this:
ground spices
Then cut up the half of the tomato and bell pepper and the little bit of onion and cilantro:

vegetables (note: cilantro not pictured)

Next, peel the potato and cut it up. For years I would cut it into pieces the way the tomato and bell pepper are done. However, after a discussion with my mother I remembered that she used to do it in slices, so I thought I'd give that a go this time. I much prefer it this way because as the potato cooks it breaks into pieces.

potato, sliced

It is time to start cooking. Place ground sirloin in a 10- or 12-inch skillet and brown it, cooking it thoroughly on medium heat. 
ground sirloin, cooked
I usually cook it down until most of the liquid (water, grease) is gone and it's almost dry. Now, add tomato, bell pepper, onion, and cilantro to the ground beef and stir, letting it cook for just a minute.

Top, add vegetables; bottom, vegetables mixed in
Add the ground spices by tilting molcajete over the pan, and pouring 1 cup of water over them so that they slide into the pan. Stir spices in, adding about 1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste) as well. Then place the potatoes on top of the mixture and add another 1/2 to 1 cup of water. The water does not have to cover the potatoes, just enough that it covers the meat. And if you have tomato sauce on hand, use about a 1/3 of a small can to give it some more color.

potatoes on top
When it starts to boil, turn down the heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook it down for 30 minutes; stirring occasionally (this is when the potato slices will break into pieces). When you are done, your picadillo will look something like this:

picadillo, done

This picture was taken immediately after I took the lid off after 30 minutes; you can continue to cook it down for a few more minutes until more of the liquid is gone. I actually let me sit covered for about 30 minutes before I served it and much more of the liquid had been absorbed. 

As a note my mother says that you're not supposed to serve picadillo with rice because it already has potatoes in it; however, I love to mix it with rice all the same. So I usually fix a small batch of rice to go with it. It is served with refried beans and we usually have flour tortillas with it; however, my mother has now said that corn tortillas with every dish is how she grew up. But I distinctly remember her serving us flour tortillas with this dish, and so that is how I serve it.

Let me know if you try this recipe out and how it works for you or if you have any variations on it (like peas or carrots in the picadillo).

¡Hasta la proxíma vez!


  1. Followed the recipe and tastes delicious. Thanks!

  2. Yum! I was searching for this recipe to make for my boyfriend and his brother who is in town. They are from mexico so I really want to make something for both of them as sort of a "comfort food". PLEASE share more recipes because I'd really like to impress them with more yummy food.

    I've noticed that everything that my boyfriend eats is with corn tortillas! He wont even touch flour tortillas haha.

    1. I am trying to get back to blogging. I will try and post a new recipe in the coming weeks.

  3. I love it....made it for the first time tonight...and my husband loves it too.thank u for sharing

  4. Hi this looks good, i am just a little confused with the spices and garlic and the molcajete cup, what kind of spices are you using? i also dont have a molcajete is there an alternative way to grind all the spices together? thank you

  5. You can see the spice basics on this blog: http://mi-arroz-y-frijoles.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-basics-spices.html

    You can also use powdered versions of the spices, as I note there, but I can't give you exact measurements for them not using them. But I would say no more than a teaspoon or so of ground comino to about 1/8 teaspoon of ground pepper and 1/8 ground garlic. But these are just guestimates.

    Also if you don't have access to a mocaljete or don't feel like taking a risk at Amazon.com, places such as Bed, Bath, & Beyond sell mortar & pestle sets, which are close to mocaljetes.

  6. Thank you Thank you! I didn't want to call my mom for the recipe. I hated carne picada as a child but found myself craving it last night! You're a godsend. Please post more recipes.

  7. Ha ha! It's a shame I didn't pay more attention as a child. I, too, have found that I have to call my mother for some things. But she's usually not good about amounts; so I've learned to just wing it on some stuff. I'm glad you liked it.

  8. Replies
    1. Rebecca, thanks for asking. If you go to my blog entry, The Basics: Spices (http://mi-arroz-y-frijoles.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-basics-spices.html), you will see where you can buy the spices separately or together as mixed spices.