1 lb of ground beef (mix of beef and pork works too, as does ground turkey or chicken)
2T cooking oil, like canola or olive (* only if using very lean ground beef or ground poultry)
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 medium or 2 small potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
(the idea is to keep the vegetables small so they cook fairly quickly)
2-4 T chile powder
1-2 T ground cumin
3 T tomato paste
1 cup water
optional: chicken bouillon paste (such as Better than Bouillon),
** If using very lean meat or poultry: **
Heat cooking oil in a fry or wide sauce pan over medium heat.
(Less lean ground beef will not need oil)
Add ground meat and break up in the pan so it is cooking
evenly in one layer using the entire pan.
Add garlic and onion once meat has started to cook.
Add potatoes and carrots and stir into meat
Season with some salt and pepper
Once meat is nearly cooked, add chile powder and cumin, then tomato paste and water.
If you prefer your picadillo more “saucy” you can add more tomato paste and water to get the desired amount of sauce. It will and should cook down a little. You don’t want soup.
Cover the pan and turn temperature to low. The picadillo should be simmering, not boiling. If needed, lower the temperature to lowest setting or vent the lid to allow some heat to escape. Monitor to make sure the sauce has not completely cooked down; the mixture should not be dry. If necessary, add a bit more tomato paste and water.
Let the mixture cook until the vegetables are soft, about 10-15 minutes. Adjust flavor if desired by adding more chile powder, cumin, salt and/or pepper as desired.
(Note: A good shortcut to more flavor is to add bouillon or “Better than Bouillon” paste. Just be aware with the latter that it is concentrated and very salty, so use with caution if you’ve already added salt.)
Once the vegetables are done, you are ready to eat your picadillo! Heat up some Tia Lupita tortillas in a pan or comal for 30 seconds on each side. Finally, make sure to top with Tia Lupita hot sauce!