This recipe is a staple dish in Cuban cuisine – Picadillo.  It only takes about 30 minutes to prep and cook.  I have adapted this version from the classic Nitza Villapol Cuban recipe collection.  My Mom has always used this recipe and her copy of the cookbook is well-worn.  The original recipe calls for 1/2 lb. ground beef and 1/2 lb. ground pork.  My husband prefers the flavor of the ground beef, so I usually omit the pork.  You can also substitute ground chuck or sirloin, if that’s what you have on hand.

I’ve listed some ingredients that you can find in the international aisle of most supermarkets, such as the Saźon GOYA.  If you can’t locate this ingredient, you can substitute an all-purpose seasoning blend.  Vino Seco is a dry white cooking wine called for in most Cuban meals, however, I prefer to use a Sherry cooking wine in my version of Picadillo.

This dish is traditionally served over steamed, long grain white rice.  You may also find most Cubans enjoy a side of tostones (fried green plantains), maduros (fried ripe plantains), and even a fried egg or two mixed in with the rice.  Roly will tell you that a regular banana is a non-negotiable side dish (as pictured).




 1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

1 (large) clove of garlic, minced

1 lb. ground beef

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 packet Saźon GOYA (a seasoning blend found in the international food aisle of most supermarkets)

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1/2 cup Sherry cooking wine

1/2 cup Spanish Manzanilla olives (stuffed with Pimento)

1/4 cup raisins (optional, but Roly likes this, so I usually throw them in)

Over medium-high heat, sauté the onions, green pepper, and garlic in the oil. Once softened, add the ground beef.  Cook over medium-high heat until just browned, stirring occasionally.  Add the rest of the ingredients and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes.  If desired, add the olives and raisins ten minutes into the cooking time.

Serve over steamed white rice and enjoy!

P.S. Leftovers the next day are even better!  This is actually true for most Cuban food as a matter of fact! 🙂