Cisco’s Picadillo

Cisco's Picadillo

Cisco’s Picadillo

Cisco’s Picadillo

I love this recipe—not just because of how delicious it is.  But it is one of those that in my cookbook is handwritten, with measurements like “a little of this, handful of that types.”  So, though I don’t have exact measurements for every ingredient on this one– I have yet to make it anything other than AMAZING.  Before I was a stay at home Mommy, I taught in high school.  And one of my classroom neighbors was a friend of mines Dad, Cisco—the best Cuban cook I’ve ever met.  When I was pregnant with Hannah, he would send his kids to my room with food—all the time!!  He made this recipe for us on a teachers’ work day one time, and I thought I’d died and gone to heaven it was so good.  I still cannot order this at a Cuban restaurant—knowing it will not measure up to his recipe.  So, here it is, non measurements and all.

*Side Note:  I usually skip the potatoes, just to be more figure friendly.  But add them by all means if you want!  YUM!


2 pounds ground beef (I usually buy the “meatloaf pack” with beef and pork)
1/2 tsp. – 1 tsp. Onion powder
1/2 tsp. to 1 tsp. Garlic powder
1/2 tsp. to 1 tsp. Black pepper
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. Oregano
1-2 T. Cumin
1 tsp. Parsley
2 Bay leaves
Olive oil
1 large onion diced
3 garlic cloves minced
2 peppers (any combination of yellow, orange, red or green) diced
1 T. capers
Couple green olives with olive water from the jar some whole, some halved
Handful of raisins
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 28 ounce can tomato sauce
2 potatoes peeled and diced
Mrs. Dash
Plantains (very ripe) *I have the hardest time getting them to be “just right” so, I buy a bag of frozen ones (maduros) at the grocery store.
½ – 1 cup frozen peas
¼ cup pimentos

Serve with rice and black beans


Night Before (I ALWAYS forget to do this, so no worries if you forget too, just throw it on when you are making it)

Season 2 lbs. with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Brown the meat in a large skillet.  Once browned, drain and set meat aside.  Add some olive oil (or coconut oil) to the pan and sauté the onion and peppers until soft over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic, capers, olives-with a tablespoon or two of the olive water.  Season with oregano, cumin, parsley and a bay leaf or two.  Throw in a handful of raisins.  Let simmer for about 3-5 minutes.  Add the browned meat, the crushed tomatoes and the sauce and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Season the potatoes with Mrs. Dash and in a separate pan brown them in olive oil and add to the meat mixture when they are soft.

For the plantains: preheat oil to 350 degrees F.  Fry maduros until golden brown (almost black) and drain on a paper towel.  Let them cool.  Once cooled, add them the pan with everything else.

Let everything simmer for another 10-20 minutes.

Add the frozen peas and pimentos and let simmer a final 3-5 minutes.

Season with salt to taste.

Serve hot with rice and black beans.


*If you have the time and can make this earlier in the day, let it simmer for a few hours…makes it that much better…mmm

Recipe Courtesy of Cisco Escobar

Lucy loves the maduros!

Lucy loves the maduros!