Beef Picadillo

One recipe for Beef and Tomato Base makes enough for this Beef Picadillo recipe as well as the Beef, Onion and Bacon Sauce with Bucatini later in the week.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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3 tablespoons currants

1/2 cup sherry 

2 tablespoons butter 

4 cloves garlic, chopped 

2 medium onions, chopped 

Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 round tablespoons paprika or smoked sweet paprika 

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 jar piquillo peppers, drained (about 1 cup) 

1 cup tomato sauce 

1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds, lightly toasted 

4 cups Beef and Tomato Base, recipe follows

Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish 

Good-quality ridged potato chips, to serve 

Beef and Tomato Base:

2 to 3 tablespoons canola oil

3 pounds ground beef sirloin, at room temperature

Salt and coarse black pepper

Salt and coarse black pepper 

1/2 cup tomato paste 

4 cups beef stock 


  1. Soak the currants in the sherry.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions, then season with salt and pepper. Sweat until the onions are very tender, then stir in the paprika and chili powder. Stir in the sherry and currants.
  3. Puree the peppers with 1 cup water until smooth, then add the pureed peppers to the Dutch oven with the tomato sauce. Stir in the almonds and the Beef and Tomato Base, then bring to a simmer and let the flavors combine a few minutes. Adjust the seasoning and remove from the heat.
  4. Cool and store for a make-ahead meal or serve immediately. Reheat over medium heat, garnish with parsley and pass chips for dipping and topping.

Beef and Tomato Base:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is very hot, pat the meat dry with paper towels and add half of the beef to the pan. Crumble the beef with a potato masher or wooden utensil. Cook to develop a deep brown color, season with salt and pepper, and then remove to a plate. Repeat the process with the remaining beef. Add the tomato paste to the pan and stir until fragrant. Then add the stock and the browned beef. Stir to combine, then reduce the heat to a simmer.