Monday, November 26

Sweet & Spicy Beef Picadillo: Cook Once Eat Thrice Meal 1

This delightful meat mix next to the rice on the plate is called sweet and spicy picadillo. a.k.a easy make ahead meal for busy moms, a.k.a one pot meal, a.k.a Mexican style sloppy joes, a.k.a a cook once eat THRICE meals, a.k.a a fun way to eat your rainbow. So this blog entry could have many names. Regardless of what to call it, this recipe is AWESOME. You have to try it. 

Yes cook the recipe below and it provides up to 3 meals. To make enough for one meal halve or quarter the recipe below.

Confession: Since I don't know how to pronounce the name picadillo (hahaha - white girl - yeah I know), I researched the the food's orgins to at least find out more about the food. Picadillo is a traditional dish in many Latin American countries. The name comes from the Spanish words "picar", which means to chop or mince, similar to its American cousin, the hash. Gotta it? Good. Here is your yummy spicy Mexican hash-like dinner coming up. 

Not only is this a tasty meal, but if you look at the ingredients you can see a rainbow of colors, so usually . More colors =  a bigger variety of nutrients. I served it with wild rice. 

To have Mexican style sloppy joes pile the meat up on hamburger buns & top each pile with some shredded cheese - easy!  

To make this a one pot meal - serve it with tortillas = only one pot veggie included!  

To make this ahead of time - completely follow the directions below using half of the ingredients and reheat on the stove the night you want to serve it. 

To create a cook once eat twice use the leftovers of this meal for some delicious empanada like pizza pockets found here . Both of those recipes were  adapted from an October 2007 Everyday Magazine article by Daisy Martinez. 


3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 pounds ground beef
4 Tablespoons tomato paste 
2 cups frozen peas and carrots 
1/2 cup water
1 tsp worchestire sauce
1 oz or two chipotles in adobe sauce
1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
1/4 cup ketchup*


  1. Chop all veggies
  2. In a large skillet or medium sized pot, heat the olive oil until hot (not smoking)
  3. Add the onion, red pepper, bell pepper and cook for approx 5-10 minutes until vegetables are tender - stir occasionally
  4. Add garlic, salt, and pepper - cook 2-3 more minutes
  5. Add the raw beef - use a spoon to cook making sure to crumble up big clumps - you don't want it looking like meatballs 
  6. Cook for approx another 10 minutes on medium or until all the meat is browned and looking almost fully cooked
  7.  Add in the tomato paste** and simmer for 2-3 minutes
  8. Add in the water stirring often to loosen up the sauce. simmer for 2-3 minutes
  9. Add in the chipotles, smoked paprika, worchestire sauce, ketchup*
  10. Stir in the frozen peas & carrots, cover the skillet/pot, cook for approx 2-4 minutes until veggies are heated through
  11.  Taste & season with more salt or pepper if you need it
  12.  Eat!!!

*Note: Ketchup is optional. I usually stay away from ketchup because most brands have more sugar than a condiment usually needs. But it was a bit too spicy for my toddler (ooops) so I added ketchup to sweeten and tame it. Turned out perfect. So if you like it spicy, taste it before you add ketchup. If you don't want it spicy at all - halve or omit the chipotles.

** Note : When a recipe calls for only a few Tbs of something like tomato paste, green chillies, or chipotles in adobe sauce I measure what I need from the can, put the remaining amount in a LABELED freezer bag, and into the freezer for later use. Most recipes you don't even need to defrost it before using it in another dish. 

From my kitchen to yours

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