Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes

Picadillo {Seasoned Beef with Carrots and Potatoes}

April 4, 2014
Mexican Picadillo is an easy, delicious dinner made with seasoned ground beef, potatoes, and carrots. It makes a taco filling the whole family will love.
 In my fairy-tale, fantasy world I’d like you to believe that I lay out an amazing spread every night. Maybe a slowly simmered mole or a gigantic dish of saucy enchiladas, complete with rice, beans, handmade tortillas and possibly a salsa or two. I’d love to have you convinced that even in North Dakota where, God help us, it is still snowing (!) I provide my family with the notion that we aren’t that far away from home, where all it would take is a trip to the burrito truck to get our carne asada fix. But in all honesty most nights it’s pasta with tomato sauce or {gasp!} pancakes and bacon if the Professor is working late and won’t be home for dinner, neither of which I really want to eat, but I’m too tired by 5:30pm to be creative. I do however, remember, on occasion, that life doesn’t have to be all pasta and pancakes. That I can make real-deal Mexican food that is fast and one-pot easy.

Picadillo {Seasoned Beef with Carrots and Potatoes}

 What is this easy Mexican milagro, you ask?  Picadillo, of course. Picadillo is one of those universal Latin dishes that has as many versions as there are cooks. You can add a can of chopped tomatoes, fresh corn kernels, fresh chopped cilantro or go Cuban and add sliced green olives and black beans. This particular version I learned to make from my Mother-in-law and is essentially seasoned ground beef mixed with cubed carrots and potatoes that you spoon into warm corn tortillas. It requires one large frying pan and about 30 minutes of your time. Really, truly, very easy.

Picadillo {Seasoned Beef with Carrots and Potatoes}

 I like to make it with homemade taco seasoning that I keep handy for just such an occasion, Nana uses the tried and true Sazón flavoring packets which have achiote and dried cilantro and add that special Mexican je ne sais quoi.  Either way you’ve got yourself a delicious, protein-packed dinner in under an hour that your ravenous family will happily gobble down offering you a solid 10 minutes of peace and the feeling that, yes, even on a weeknight—you nailed it.
Picadillo {Seasoned Beef with Carrots and Potatoes}
Taco seasoning adapted from Mommy I'm Hungry the rest adapted from Nana
Serves: 4-6
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon homemade taco seasoning (see below)
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
  • ¾ cup beef broth or water
  • warm tortillas, sliced jalapeños, sliced scallions, and lime wedges for serving
For theTaco Seasoning:
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chile powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and carrot and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook a minute more.
  2. Add beef and taco seasoning and stir into onion mixture, breaking up the beef with the back of the spoon. Cook until most of the beef is browned, about 5 more minutes.
  3. Add potatoes and broth or water, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Taste and season with more salt if needed.
  4. Serve with warm tortillas, sliced jalapeños and scallions, and some lime wedges for squeezing.

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  • Rosie April 7, 2014 at 12:04 am

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