Cuban Beef Picadillo - a delicious hearty ground beef Cuban inspired recipe with flavoursome spices, potatoes, vegetables, olives and sultanas.
Cuban Beef Style Picadillo
I love olives, so much so that I am known to eat them out of the jar, Green Manzanilla olives being my absolutely favourite, I just love their salty unique flavour. Great in salads, in pasta, with any type of protein.
So without any surprise, one of my favourite recipes to make is Cuban Beef Style Picadillo. If you have never tried this amazing dish, then boy are you missing out.
It reminds me of a corned beef hash but with much more flavour and a perfect hearty meal for any day of the week.
Traditional Cuban Beef Picadillo
I make no claims that my version is anything like a traditional Cuban Beef Picadillo. Sadly I have no Cuban roots in my family, so my own take on this yummy recipe is inspired by many different versions I have tried along the way, tweaking it to my own taste and flavourings.
Spices in Cuban Beef Picadillo
There is nothing complicated or unique in my version of this recipe, so no need to go out and hunt down any hard to find ingredients, it's all stuff that the majority of us have in our store cupboard or pantry.
The basic herbs/spices I use are:
- oregano (dried) - no need to worry about using fresh, dried is perfectly fine.
- chilli (chili) powder - not the hot Indian varieties, this is more like the Mexican style chilli (which has a blend of spices like paprika, cumin etc as one of the ingredients), it's not an ingredient you tend to see in picadillo, but I like to add it for a bit of extra flavour.
- cumin - ground is best for this recipe.
and then of course just some basic sea salt and black pepper for seasoning. I recommend these for most recipes. Food should never be bland if you always taste and season at the end to desired taste. A little salt and black pepper enhance flavours in any dish.
Vegetables in Cuban Beef Picadillo
You can literally add whatever you like vegetable wise to this dish, it is a great throw all in one pan recipe.
My perfect choice is potatoes, tomatoes peppers, onion and zucchini (courgette) it bulks out the dish and makes it delicious, healthy and hearty.
For the potatoes, go for a waxy variety not floury. Floury potatoes tend to disintegrate into this style of dish, whereas waxy varieties hold their shape and have a much better flavour.
My favourites are Yukon Gold (USA and Canada) and the closest to those in the UK is the Elfe Potato, but use another variety of waxy potato if you can't find either.
If you are trying to be healthier and keep lower carb, you could swap out the potatoes for butternut squash it would add a lovely sweetness to this dish. I personally would add a little heat though if you do this, just to balance out the sweetness, maybe by adding in a pinch of cayenne.
Can I use canned tomatoes?
Yes if you don't have fresh by all means use some canned chopped tomatoes, just be aware the final result will be slightly different.
Canned tomatoes don't yield the same kind of sauce that fresh will and they are also slightly acidic too when canned.
Types of Olive in Cuban Beef Picadillo
Any green olive is fine, I personally don't like this dish with black olives.
Either pitted green olives or those stuffed with pimentos are my favourites.
Sides for Cuban Beef Picadillo
If you want to dig into a bowl of this just as it is, feel free. It tasty served straight from the pan.
Other great sides are rice or if you are trying to be healthier, I love it with this Roasted Cauliflower Rice. Don't be put off trying cauliflower rice again if the only way you have cooked it is in a microwave so it fills the house with an aroma that is not too pleasant.
Roasted Cauliflower is the best and is the only way I cook it nowadays. Roasting it gives it a lovely flavour and its the perfect side to this Cuban Beef Picadillo.
More Ground Beef or Beef Mince Recipes
Love recipes using ground beef or beef mince? Check out these:
- EASY ASIAN GROUND BEEF BOWL
- HONEY AND GARLIC CHICKEN MEATBALLS (INSTANT POT OR SLOW COOKER)
- CRISPY POTATO TOPPED MEAT PIE (MINCED BEEF HOTPOT)
- ONE POT TACO BEEF RICE SKILLET
- QUICK HOISIN BEEF NOODLE STIR FRY
- BEEF KOFTA TRAY BAKE
- COCONUT BEEF MEATBALL CURRY
- INSTANT POT CHOCOLATE CHILLI
- CHEESY CAULIFLOWER TOPPED PIE
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- 500g (17.5oz) of extra lean ground beef (beef mince)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 400g (14oz) of fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbs of ground cumin
- ½ tbs of dried oregano
- 1 tsp of chilli (chili) powder
- 20 stuffed manzanilla olives (or use another variety of small green olives)
- 30g (1oz) of raisins (sultanas)
- 2 tbs of tomato paste
- 1 cup (240ml) of beef stock (or can use chicken)
- splash of balsamic vinegar
- ½ red pepper, chopped
- ½ medium zucchini, chopped
- 250g (9oz) of Yukon Gold Potatoes (or use another waxy variety)
- sea salt and black pepper
- chopped fresh cilantro (coriander) - optional
- Add the ground beef to a frying pan with the onion and garlic and fry until browned.
- Add in the fresh tomatoes and continue to cook until the tomatoes start to break down a little.
- Add in the potatoes, cumin, oregano and chile powder and stir to coat.
- Add in the peppers, olives, sultanas (raisins), tomato paste, balsamic vinegar and stock.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are tender and liquid has reduced down. If liquid has not reduced down after this time, heat is too low.
- Stir in the zucchini (courgette) for the last 5 minutes of cooking time.
- Taste and season as needed. Olives are quite salty, so you shouldn't need much salt.
- Sprinkle with chopped cilantro (coriander) and serve with your choice of sides.
This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, Slimming World and Weight Watchers friendly
- Slimming World - 2.5 syns per serving
- Green WW Smart Points - 6 per serving
- Blue WW Smart Points - 6 per serving
- Purple WW Smart Points - 5 per serving
- Gluten Free - use gluten free stock
*SUITABLE FOR FREEZING
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Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1 SERVING
Amount Per Serving Calories 295Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 2.3gTrans Fat 0gCholesterol 76mgSodium 578mgCarbohydrates 28gFiber 4.4gSugar 7.4gProtein 29.4g