Puerto Rican Picadillo: beef hash seasoned with sofrito. Great with rice, or as a filling for empanadas, papas rellenos and tacos! (Popular in Cuban and Latin American cuisine).
My Puerto Rican recipe series continues. Today I have 2 recipes. The first is for Puerto Rican Picadillo, which is a ground beef hash.
Picadillo can be served as-is over rice, used in Papas Rellenas (another Puerto Rican favorite), or even as an alternative taco filling (shh don’t tell my Mexican grandmother…).
Here, it serves as the filling for savory empanadas. They make a great meal on their own with a green salad, as a side to any Puerto Rican meal or even rewarmed the next morning for breakfast!
Heck, I’ll even eat them cold! They’re also pretty tasty dipped in mayoketchup – a three ingredient wonder sauce.
This recipe employs some Puerto Rican ingredient staples: sofrito, tomato sauce and olives. Sofrito is the base of most Puerto Rican cooking, along with tomato. Pimento stuffed olives are also common and really add a pop of briny tang.
This recipe uses pre-made empanada dough/wrappers, which can be found in the freezer section of Hispanic supermarkets.
Since moving, I haven’t had access to this convenient product. Be on the lookout for a 100% from-scratch recipe! Sign up for my emails below so you’ll get notified.
UPDATE: you can find my homemade empanada dough recipe here!
Another note: the orange color you see is from the annatto seed, which is used frequently in Puerto Rican cooking. The empanada dough also comes in “plain.”
Puerto Rican Picadillo
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 heaping tablespoons sofrito
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) canned tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons Spanish olives, chopped
- 1 teaspoon adobo
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Dash of dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 medium potato, peeled and cubed small
- In a large frying pan, brown ground beef over medium heat. Add sofrito and sauté for a few minutes.
- Stir in tomato sauce, olives, adobo, garlic powder and oregano. Season generously to taste with salt and pepper. The flavors should be robust.
- Add potatoes, reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes are cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
- 1 recipe for Picadillo
- 1 package empanada shells, thawed (I use Goya Discos found in the frozen section)
- OR you can make your own empanada dough
- Oil, for frying
Separate empanada shells and roll over with a rolling pin. Fill half of disk with about 2 tablespoons of picadillo, leaving a half-inch rim around the edge. Fold dough over filling and crimp the edges with a fork to seal well. Fry in hot oil a few at a time, about 3-4 minutes per side, or until crust is golden brown and bubbly.
Yield: 10 empanadas