Picadillo is well-known, even if slightly different, in all Latin countries. It always begins the same way, with ground beef that is increased with local vegetables and aromatics. In Panama, we add tomatoes or tomato sauce, capers, olives and sometimes raisins. Puerto Rico’s and Cuba’s version is similar to ours.
The Hubbz loves his picadillo Mexican style and I do too. I have to admit that I prefer it when he makes it, and it has nothing to do with being cooked for. I don’t exactly know why, but his tastes different than mine. My mami says it’s in the hand. At least that’s what she used to say about cake batters. Maybe we all have our own inherently unique ‘flavor’ that is somehow infused into the things we cook. Seriously. Have you ever mimicked a recipe from someone you know and not been able to get it to taste quite the same? It happens. I don’t know how, but it does.
Anyway, I made this batch following The Hubbz directions. It was very good, just not Hubbz good, maybe you’ll hit the spot.
The Hubbz’ Mexican Picadillo
2 lbs ground beef (avoid lean beef)
1-1/2 tbsp fajita seasoning
2 tsps Herbs d’Provence
1 large onion, diced
1/2 each red and yellow bell pepper, diced
1 or 2 serrano peppers, finely diced
2 cps potatoes, peeled and finely diced
Cilantro, finely chopped
Heat up a large pan, make sure it has a tight-fitting lid, over high heat and add the beef. Break it up as you drop it in the skillet. Once you’ve got it all in, season it liberally with the fajita seasoning and herbs d’Provence. Don’t be shy with the fajita seasoning; even though it has salt and you may be worried about over-salting, remember you’ll be adding potatoes and other veggies that will soak up the salt.
Crumble the beef as you work the seasoning in. Keep the temperature high, to help brown the beef a bit. The moisture in the ground beef will sweat out, once it evaporates, the beef will begin browning.
Add the onions and peppers. Make sure to stir it constantly to avoid too much from sticking to the bottom. Cook until the onions are translucent before adding the potatoes.
Once you add the potatoes, add about 1 cp of broth or water cover and reduce the temperature to medium-low. Come back and stir it every so often, check the seasoning and adjust as necessary. Allow it to simmer for 30 minutes or so, until the potatoes are tender and falling apart. As a matter of fact, the potatoes will be almost impossible to spot once this is cooked all the way.
We like to serve it with flour tortillas or rice.
Ay que rico!