Cuban Picadillo with Sauteed Almonds

*Photos and Content Updated July 2012*

Inspiration: I’m always so fascinated by what people in other parts of the world are eating. I love hearing about dishes from other regions, and I love giving them a try myself. Even if the recipes that I make aren’t completely authentic, they’re still exposure to foods that I wouldn’t normally have the chance to eat, which I think is pretty awesome.

What We Loved: This dish caught me completely off guard. I love ground beef, so I always thought that Cuban picadillo looked tasty, but for some reason I was expecting it to be a bit on the bland side. Boy, was I wrong. With my first bite, I made a remark to Brandon that I couldn’t believe how complex the picadillo tasted. There was just a bit of sweetness from the cinnamon and cloves, a bit of sour from the olives, and a bit of savory from the grass-fed beef, garlic, and tomato paste. Everything combined for a really great, complex flavor that I really wasn’t expecting. Brandon thought that it reminded him a little bit of an Indian meal, with all of the different spices that were in there.  And the almonds on top added even more flavor and crunch. What a great dish.

Tips: Don’t be shy with the spices, particularly the cinnamon, which is really important to the overall flavor of the dish. When combined, I think that all of the spices add a lot of complexity to the dish and give it its characteristic flavor, so I would suggest tasting as you go and adding as much of all of the spices as you’d like.

Cuban Picadillo with Sauteed Almonds
Source: Adapted from Artsy Foodie, originally from The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes

1 lb grass-fed ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano, or more to preference
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or more to preference
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves,  or more to preference
1 bay leaf
3 oz tomato paste
1 cup hot water
12 pimiento-stuffed green olives, sliced
1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped

1. Brown the beef in a saute pan until cooked through.

2. Add the garlic, oregano, salt, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, tomato paste, and water. Mix well, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. If the mixture is too dry and there really isn’t much to simmer, add a touch more water.

3. Add the olives, and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

4. Turn off the heat and add the almonds. Stir to combine and serve.

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11 thoughts on “Cuban Picadillo with Sauteed Almonds

    • Anne – we limit our carbs, so we actually eat it as shown in the picture – just with some avocado slices or guacamole. I think that it would be really great either served over Mexican rice or wrapped up in tortillas, though!

  1. We are Clean Eaters (I am down nearly 67 pounds since last March but have 45 or so to go). Brown Rice or Whole Wheat Tortillas would work. Or maybe some sort of salad greens?

    Anyhow, I can’t wait to make this. Looks fantastic!

  2. Hmmm YUMMY! I just finished preparing this dish and having my first helping. I have always wondered about Picadillo. Thank you, this is going into regular rotation.

    • Oh good, I’m so glad that you liked it! We make this dish probably more than any other on the blog….it’s simple enough for a week night or quick dinner, but it never gets boring :)

  3. Pingback: Picadillo Stuffed Peppers | she cooks...he cleans

  4. Pingback: Paleo Menu: 20 Ground Beef Recipes — A Girl Worth Saving

  5. Pingback: Whole30 Picadillo with Sauteed Almonds | I Was Born To Cook

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