Ground Beef Picadillo #AtoZrecipechallenge

Traditional Mexican Picadillo made with ground beef and vegetables in a ancho and guajillo chile broth.

Ground Beef Picadillo -

Continuing on with the A to Z Recipe Challenge, G is for ground beef. When I think of ground beef, the first thing that pops into my head is Pappy's Picadillo. Pappy's ground beef picadillo was part of our regular weekly dinner rotation when I was growing up, although he'd switch up the ingredients every now and then.

Pappy loved to play in the kitchen, perusing the pantry and fridge for ingredients to add to whatever he was making. (One of the many traits I inherited from him.) Sometimes my grandpa kept things simple and made his picadillo with just ground beef, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, and canned enchilada sauce. And sometimes he'd throw in as many vegetables as he could find. The more vegetables he added, the happier I was because I was a weird kid who loved vegetables.

Now that I'm all grown up with a family of my own, I still make Pappy's picadillo with lots of veggies like potatoes, carrots, and nopales (cactus paddles). The only thing I've changed is that I make the sauce from scratch using dried ancho and guajillo chiles.

Mexican Picadillo -

Ground Beef Picadillo


  • 3 dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed 
  • 2 dried guajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed 
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
  • 2 serrano chiles, finely chopped 
  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 3 roma tomatoes, diced 
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced 
  • 1 cup cooked nopales, diced 
  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth

Bring dried ancho and guajillo chiles with the water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover; reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 5 minutes until chiles have softened completely. Remove from heat; let cool slightly.

Puree the chiles and water in a blender until smooth; season with salt to taste.

Heat the vegetable oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté the serrano chiles and onion for 2 to 3 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic; sauté for an additional 30 seconds. Add the ground beef, breaking it up with a back of a wooden spoon, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes until no longer pink. Stir in the tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, nopales, chile puree, and beef broth. Let picadillo come to a boil; season with salt to taste. Cover and reduce heat to low; let simmer for about 20 minutes until the carrots are tender.

Ladle picadillo into bowls. Serve with warm corn tortillas. Enjoy!

Picadillo de Carne Molida -

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