Picadillo is a dish that is made with ground or shredded beef or pork that’s eaten in tacos and quesadillas or used as filling for chiles or turkey. There are simpler versions of picadillo that are made with ground meat in a tomato sauce with chopped carrots and peas and more elaborate versions have a lot of chopped ingredients and have both a sweet and savory element.
This picadillo recipe comes from Enedina Bello Gonzalez from Tixtla, Guerrero and is definitely one of the more elaborate versions of this dish. She is the mastermind behind the recipes at the restaurant Con Sabor a Tixtla in the Roma neighborhood in Mexico City and her and her son Alfredo, were kind enough to invite me back into the kitchen to learn how to make their delicious picadillo alemendrado.
As we chopped tomatoes, onions, garlic, plantains, pineapple, almonds, peanuts, olives and parsely Enedina explained to me that their version of picadillo is frequently used during the Christmas season as a turkey stuffing, but is also incredibly delicious wrapped in a tortilla or eaten in a torta.
If you live in Mexico City or are here visiting it´s definitely worth making a visit to Con Sabor A Tixtla. The food is delicious and not your typical Mexico City fare. For more information you can visit their website or facebook page.
Traditionally this picadillo is prepared with very finely shredded pork (See photo). Doña Enedina shreds the meat in a food processor, however if you don´t have one and don´t want to do it by hand you can buy the ground pork.
Serves 6 – 8
- 1 lb of pork loin or 1 lb of ground pork
- 1 lb of tomatoes chopped finely
- 1 lb of tomatoes boiled and blended
- 2 large cloves of garlic chopped finely
- 1 medium sized onion chopped finely
- 1 slice of fresh pineapple chopped (about 1 cup)
- ½ ripe plantain chopped
- 100 grams blanched almonds chopped (about 1 cup)
- 100 grams toasted, unsalted peanuts without skins chopped (about 1 cup)
- 100 grams of plain green olives w/out the seeds chopped in half (about 1 cup)
- 100 grams of raisins (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup of parsley chopped finely
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- ½ teaspoon of cumin
- 10 black peppercorns
- 5 cloves
- 1 inch piece of Mexican cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons of vinegar from a can of jalapeños
- Lard or olive oil
If you’re using a piece of pork loin, bring the meat to a boil with an onion and a few cloves of garlic. Lower heat and cook for 45 minutes. Remove and let cool. Shred the meat by hand and chop finely. Set aside meat and save the broth. If using ground meat, sauté it, breaking the meat up into pieces until its cooked and set aside.
In a mortar and pestle grind the cumin, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon with the 4 tablespoons of vinegar and set aside. In a medium sized pot, heat lard or olive oil and sauté the chopped pineapple, garlic and onion until transparent. Add the chopped tomatoes and two tablespoons of sugar and let simmer over low to medium heat.
When the tomatoes have cooked down add the peanuts, almonds, raisins, olives, tomato sauce and the vinegar/spice mixture and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes on low heat. Add the plantains and meat and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Add the parsley before serving.