By Jenna Holst

Picadillo (pee-kah-DEE-yoh) is popular in many Latin American and Caribbean countries. You can serve picadillo with rice or use it as a filling for tortillas or tacos. This recipe calls for beef, but picadillo can be made with any ground meat, such as pork, turkey, and chicken. This recipe freezes well.

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/AlenaKogotkova]
Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/AlenaKogotkova

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 to 20 minutes

Cooking time: 40 to 45 minutes

Spice meter: Moderately spiced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced, or 3/4 to 1 teaspoon ground jalapeno chile pepper powder

1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef

1-1/4 cups chopped canned tomatoes with juices

1 tablespoon white wine or cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup chopped pitted black or pitted green olives

1/3 cup raisins

Salt to taste, about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

    Add the garlic and jalapeno and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. If you’re using ground jalapeno chile pepper powder, add it in Step 3 along with the other spices.

  2. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent lumps, until the beef is browned thoroughly, about 7 minutes.

  3. Add the tomatoes, vinegar, oregano, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, black pepper, olives, and raisins. Stir. Reduce the heat to medium-low.

    Cover partially and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. If the picadillo becomes too dry, add a little water. Taste for salt and add if necessary.

Per serving: Calories 301(From Fat 161); Fat 18g (Saturated 6g); Cholesterol 75mg; Sodium 327mg; Carbohydrate 13g (Dietary Fiber 2g); Protein 23g.