Picadillo Sencillo, con Amor

My wife and I just had our first child – well, she had the child (Felix Bae) – and the days of elaborate recipes and detailed cooking are on the shelf for now. That said, we still need to eat wholesome and healthy, so that means home-based meals as often as possible. Accordingly, we need to plan for recipes with good ingredients, few steps and ideally minimal dishes (and time). My wife had cooked picadillo for me previously, sort of a Mexican stew-that’s-not-a-stew with bountiful flavors and a great contrast of sweet, tart, savory & sabroso. I decided to head to the store, pick up the basketful of ingredients and test my hand – and it came out great. It’s hard not to make this recipe well, as it’s super sencillo. Serve with tortillas and your favorite Mexican hot sauce (ours is Valentina, but Cholula & Tapatio work perfectly as well).




  • 1 lb ground beef (turkey used here)
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 can diced tomatoes & green chiles (I used Rotel)
  • 1 cup green apple, diced
  • 1 cup, chicken (or vegetable) broth
  • 1/2 white (or yellow, or brown, frankly) onion, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2  jalapeños, minced
  • 1/2 cup almonds, crushed or slivered
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • salt, to taste
  • brown sugar, to taste


  • heat oil in pan or dutch oven.
  • brown beef (turkey) evenly throughout.
  • dprinkle salt & brown sugar for seasoning, tasting consistently (after meat is cooked).
  • add onion, garlic, jalapeño and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  • add remaining ingredients (except almonds), bring to a boil.
  • let simmer for 25 minutes.
  • add almonds
  • serve with warmed tortillas, hot sauce & enjoy!

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