My grandmother Ramona would make Picadillo for me when I was a little girl. When I got married, my mother shared the recipe with me. I have made some changes to the recipe and it is my family's favorite recipe. I hope you enjoy it too!
For the Picadillo:
1 TBSP of Vegetable or Canola oil
1 small white onion, chopped finely
1 teaspoon of jalapeno or serrano chile, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lb of ground beef
1 large carrot, diced small
1 Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced small
1 teaspoon of Mexican oregano (regular oregano can be substituted)
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
4 oz. of tomato sauce
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon of demi-glace chicken or 1 cube of chicken bouillon
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Warm Tomato Salsa:
4 red vine tomatoes, make an “X” on the bottom of your tomato skin with a knife
¼ cup of white onions, chopped
⅛ cup of fresh cilantro
1 clove of garlic
½ teaspoon of Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon Kosher salt and pepper to taste
12 corn tortillas
Romaine lettuce, shredded, about 2 cups
3 Radishes, sliced thin, about 3-4 slices per taco
Sour Cream, to taste
Queso Fresco or Feta Cheese, crumbled
No nutrition information available
Equipment needed to make tacos:
Vegetable or Canola oil, cups for frying
To Prepare Picadillo: Heat oil over medium-high heat in a skillet pan. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes. To onion, add jalapeno and garlic. Cook for an additional minute, stirring frequently. Add ground beef, cumin, oregano and demi-glace chicken (or chicken bouillon). Cook until beef is browned and crumbled. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir, lower heat to a simmer and cover pan. If the picadillo is becoming to dry, you can add a little water. Continue to cook until carrots and potatoes are cooked and soft, about 15-20 minutes. Check your seasoning and adjust accordingly.
To Make Warm Salsa:
Meanwhile, while your picadillo is cooking, place the tomatoes in a pan and cover them in water. Boil tomatoes for about 3-4 minutes, until the skin begins to peel off on its own. Carefully remove the tomatoes (discard water in pot only) and place the tomatoes in a bowl to cool off. Place the remaining ingredients in the blender. Remove skin from tomatoes and crush with your hand or spoon. Place tomatoes and any tomato juice that has accumulated in the bowl inside the blender. Blend tomato mixture into a salsa. Adjust seasoning. This salsa is supposed to be watery and smooth.
To Assemble Tacos: You can gently reheat the tortillas on the stove or in the microwave. (I prefer to warm all of the tortillas in a little oil first, to make them more pliable and to prevent them from breaking). Get a TBSP of picadillo, place it in the center of the warm tortilla, fold it in half and secure it with a toothpick on each side. You should have a semi-circle with two toothpicks keeping the filling inside. If the toothpicks are falling off, consider removing some of the filling or making sure the tortilla is warm. Assemble all of your tacos. (Depending on the size of your tortilla, you can add more filling, as long as you can close the tortilla with toothpicks).
To Fry Tacos: Place vegetable oil in frying pan and place on medium high heat. (Place enough oil to fry the taco on the top.) Your oil is ready when the tip of a wooden spoon bubbles when placed in oil. Carefully add tacos to oil, 2-3 tacos (depends on how big your frying pan is) at a time, since the oil may splash. Fry for about 2-3 minutes per side, until crunchy. Have a rack over a baking sheet with paper towels over the rack ready, to absorb excess oil from tacos. Remove the tacos with tongs; carefully drip off any extra oil in the frying pan before placing on your cooling rack. If your tacos are browning too fast, lower the heat. Always make sure your oil is warm enough. Continue until all your tacos are fried.
To Assemble: Remove toothpicks from tacos. Open taco and add the sour cream, then the lettuce. Top with radishes and cheese. Then spoon a TBSP or more of warm salsa over the taco. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the taco. I serve 3-4 tacos per person.
I like to place the left over picadillo in the freezer for a future use.