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Instant Pot

Beef Picadillo (Fast & Slow)

4 Servings

1 hour 20 minutes active

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Picadillo—a stewy ground beef dish popular in Cuba, the Caribbean and Latin America—combines sweet and savory flavors. There are many variations, but the essentials are ground meat and tomato, with raisins for sweetness and chopped olives for a balancing touch of brine. Prep the olives and cilantro while the beef cooks. Serve with beans and rice and, if you like, chopped fresh tomatoes and hot sauce.




Don't use double-concentrated tomato paste, often sold in a tube. Its potent flavor will overwhelm the other ingredients. Also, don't use ground beef that's leaner than 85 percent or the meat in the finished dish will have a dry, pebbly texture.

1 hour

20 minutes active


  • 2

    tablespoons salted butter

  • 1

    large red onion, halved and thinly sliced


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Michael A.
June 10, 2022
Truly you can put this stuff on anything
We love the base recipe, usually sprinkling in a good amount of Tapatio before cooking, and sometimes after, for more kick. Whether served on rice or tortilla chips this does not last long at our house. I will usually double the raisins, or more, depending on the family's mood.
Janine C.

I rolled out Puff pastry and cut out squares and folded in a spoonful to make into empanadas.

Doug C.

FYI step 2 here needs an edit - looks like an inadvertent duplication.

Lynn C.

Hi Doug -

Thanks for pointing this out to us - there is, indeed, a duplication! We've just fixed the error.

The Milk Street Team

Duncan W.

Are those black beans in the photos?

Lynn C.

Hi Duncan -

Yes. In the headnote of the recipe is says you can serve with beans and rice and we chose to serve it that way for the photo.

The Milk Street Team

Aubrey H.

Is there a way I can prepare this without an instant pot? Just let it simmer for 30 mins or so, making the rice separately?

Lynn C.

Hi Aubrey -

You can find a stovetop version of this recipe here -

The Milk Street Team