So for my 29th Birthday, my fave girl and I, Ita, are heading to CUBA! Before we left she wanted to make me one of my favorite dishes and I chose her yummy Picadillo!

Picadillo is a famous Cuban dish that many people make various ways depending on how their family makes it. The recipe is usually passed down from generation to generation and normally includes the regulars; potatoes, raisins, olives, some sort of Sofrito mix and ground beef. 

My Mom, the Puerto Rican, puts her spin on it and it is so AMAZING. Shes says she doesn't really remember how she learned to make but it is DAMN GOOD. I have been eating this dish for years and so have my friends. I've also made it plenty of times but as you know whenever your Mom makes something it just tastes better. I call it "Ita's Famous Picadillo" and for Christmas a couple of years ago I got her an engraved cutting board with the recipe on it (so she can always have it and also so I don't ever forget the recipe). It's normally served with white rice (remember 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice), maduros (sweet plantains) and avacodo... yum, so good! The recipe is super easy and you will have plenty of leftovers. If you want an extra Cuban vibe, partner it with a Mojito!! 

Ita's Famous Picadillo

- 1/2 pound ground beef (80/20 Fat)

- Sofrito Mix (1/2 spanish onion, 2-3 gloves of garlic, 1/2 green pepper, 1/2 red pepper)

- 1 medium sized yellow potato (peeled & cut into cubes)

- 1 small can of Goya Tomato sauce (only use about 2 tablespoons)

- 1 tablespoon Goya Tomato Sofrito Mix

- 1 packet Goya Sazon Cilantro y Achiote mix

- Cilantro (fresh if you can find it)

- 2 teaspoons Cumin (to your liking)

- 1 can La Costena Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce 

- 1/2 can Goya whole olives (non-pitted, sliced)

- Seasoning (Salt & pepper, Goya Adobo)

After you assemble all of your ingredients it's time to find your favorite cast iron deep skillet and make your Picadillo!

In a semi deep cast iron skillet (if you have it) on medium high heat pour in about a tablespoon of EVOO. Once your EVOO is hot add in your Sofrito mix (chopped rep pepper, green pepper, onions and garlic). Let that cook for about 2 minutes until onions are translucent and you can smell the aroma of the veggies. Once your onions are cooking add in your sliced olives and peeled cubed potatoes. Let that cook for about 2-3 minutes as well before adding you ground beef. 

After your Sofrito Mix, potatoes and olives are cooking it's time to add in the meat along with the rest of your ingredients. Once you add in your meat, pour about a tablespoon of Goya Tomato Sauce and the Goya Sofrito Tomato mix in the mixture (Not that much, you are not making spaghetti). If you want to make it a little spicy which I prefer and LOVE, you can add in the chopped chipotle peppers, La Costena Chopped Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce (Now listen..YOU CAN'T FIND THIS AT WHOLE FOODS, TRADER JOES, HARRIS TEETER, WEGMANS! GO TO YOUR LOCAL GROCERY STORE & WALK TO THE YES, HISPANIC AISLE! This little can of goodness will be near the tomato sauce...Not all recipes have to be boujee or organic). After you have added your chipotle peppers, Goya Tomato Sauce and Sofrito Tomato mix, with your favorite wooden spoon, mix that pot of gold all together! Seasoning is up next, pour in your packet of Sazon, salt & pepper, cumin, fresh chopped cilantro and of course, Goya Adobo seasoning. 

Once everything is mixed together, cover the pan for about 10-15 minutes until your potatoes are tender and your meat is fully cooked...obviously. I would taste your Picadillo to make sure it is seasoned to your liking. Make sure you don't over salt because a lot of the Goya mixes already have a ton of salt in them (Blame Hispanics). Once your 15 minutes is up serve over some white rice, sweet plantains and a big tall glass of Mojito (extra strong)

Can you smell your kitchen becoming a Cuban vibe?? 

Sidnote: If you're not in the cooking mood and in the Washington, D.C. area there are two AMAZING Cuban Restaurants that serve up authentic Cuban Cuisine. All your missing is the cigar!


Cuba Da Ayer


Cheers to eating!