Simple picadillo gives new life to leftover potatoes

Flavored with Mexican spices, this dish made with ground beef and left over potatoes, is just right when a cook is short on time. (Photo by Darlene Montague)

Two things came together this week. I returned from the grocery store with a fresh package of hamburger meat so I didn’t have to wait for the freezer stuff to thaw. And I had several leftover baked potatoes in the fridge from the previous night’s supper.

I split the package of hamburger and reserved half for Bil’s plain ole hamburger patties which he would eat every night if he could, and with the other half I made myself something with flavor as I get tired of plain meat and potatoes.

This dish came together quickly so it is a very good choice for when you need something on the table in a hurry. I checked on Pinterest and depending on what is added to the meat and potatoes, this could either be a Mexican dish or a Cuban one.

This recipe may not be one hundred percent authentic but I did the best I could with what I had on hand. I liked it a lot. Bil wouldn’t even taste it because it has tomatoes, olives and raisins, all of which are on his “will not eat” list. Oh well, more for me!

My Simple Picadillo

• 1 lb. hamburger meat

• 1/2 large onion, chopped

• 3 large cloves garlic, chopped

• salt and pepper

• 2 tsp. chili powder (like Gebhardt)

• 2 tsp. cumin

• 1 small can tomato sauce

• 2 small cans water

• 1 can petite Mexican-style tomatoes

• Big squeeze of ketchup

• 1/2 cup golden raisins

• 1/2 cup salad olives

• 2 medium-sized cooked potatoes, peeled and diced

In a large skillet, brown the hamburger meat with the onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper. When the meat is no longer pink, add in the chili powder and cumin stirring to cover the meat. Add in the tomato sauce, tomatoes, ketchup and enough water to thin it down (but don’t make it soupy). 

Add in the raisins, olives and cooked potatoes. Simmer a bit until the raisins plump up and the potatoes are heated through.

Serve over cooked white rice.

(Cook’s Notes: I added ketchup as the diced tomatoes also had a lot of lime juice in them and the ketchup balanced out the sour. If you use something like chili-style tomatoes, you may not need the ketchup. I liked the raisins and would probably add more next time. Salad olives are just stuffed olives that are not perfect so they are already cut up. Use regular stuffed green olives if you have those.)

Recommended for you