This picadillo recipe came to our family from my Puerto Rican husband Pat. He says that he learned to make it from his Titi Rosa, more than 40 years ago, but I would venture to say he added the capers and made this his own version of the family classic recipe because he LOVES capers.
When Pat and I first started dating, he used to come over to my house and cook an impressive dish called pastelón, a Puerto Rican lasagna made from sweet fried plantains, layered between a saucy ground beef called picadillo. Throughout the years, after we were married, he would make picadillo only for pastelón, but then I began making it to stuff peppers and empanadas, even serve it plain over white rice.
I used to call picadillo the Puerto Rican sloppy joe, but it’s way better. It gets its distinct flavor from the sofrito, achiote oil, sazón, olives and capers, to name a few of my favorite ingredients and sauces.
Over the years, I can’t say that I’ve changed this recipe much, because it’s just so perfect. Some people like their picadillo a little saucier, so adding a tablespoon of water at a time can easily create the consistency to your liking.
For more of Titi Rosa’s Puerto Rican deliciousness, try her family-famous arroz con pollo, the winner of Familia Kitchen’s Your Favorite Arroz on Pollo Recipe Contest.
And while you are at it, try her picadillo-stuffed alcapurrias, which are made every year for the holidays by Pat’s cooking-talented family.