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Classic Picadillo

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Classic Picadillo
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Makes: 6 servings adjust
Every Cuban has a special way of making picadillo. Here is a good basic recipe along with a variation.

For a real Cuban feast, serve with black beans and fried ripe plantains.



  • 2 pounds Lean Ground Beef
  • 34 cup Onion, diced
  • 12 cup Green Pepper, chopped

Step 1

Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef, onions and green pepper. Saute the beef, breaking it into small pieces until cooked through and onions and peppers are softened. Drain accumulated fat.


  • 2 cloves Garlic, pressed

Step 2

Add garlic to the pan and saute until fragrant.


  • 8 ounces Tomato Sauce
  • 1 12 teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 12 cup Green Olives
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Brine, from olive jar
  • 12 cup Raisins
  • Dry Sherry, do not use cooking sherry
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Step 3

Stir tomato sauce, cumin, green olives, olive brine, raisins into the pan. Add enough sherry to make the mixture a little loose. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 4

Cover pan and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more sherry if it starts to look too dry.

Step 5

Uncover and stir in additional cumin, salt and/or pepper if necessary.


  • White Rice, cooked according to package directions

Step 6

Serve over fluffy white rice.


  • 14 cup Olive Oil, optional
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold Potato, peeled and cubed, optional

Step 7

Optional -- For a different spin on classic picadillo called Picadillo con Papitas Fritas: While the picadillo is simmering, fry the potatoes in oil over medium heat until golden. When picadillo is done, add the potatoes and toss lightly.
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