Slow Cooker Beef Picadillo

I was very intrigued by one ingredient in this recipe when I first saw it: the alcaparrado.  I had never heard of it before, but apparently it’s a mixture of green olives, capers, and pimentos (all favorites of mine).  I found alcaparrado very easily in my supermarket, so I decided to give this dinner a try.  I definitely changed the recipe up a bit (partly on purpose and partly by mistake – I’ll explain a little later!).  My version was very good though, so I’m sticking to it!

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Start with the beef…

  • Add 1 pound of ground beef to a skillet over medium-high heat.

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  • Break up with a wooden spoon and cook until browned.

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  • Meanwhile, chop up 1 onion, 1 red bell pepper, and 3 cloves of garlic.

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  • Add the veggies to the beef.

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  • Stir to combine and cook for about 4 minutes.

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  • While those veggies soften, dice up 2 plum tomatoes and mince up some fresh cilantro.

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  • After the four minutes have passed, add the beef mixture to your slow cooker using a slotted spoon (to remove excess fat).

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  • Add the tomatoes and cilantro.

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  • Pour in 1 cup of tomato sauce.  (I used a spicy tomato sauce I had on hand from a local caterer.  Yum!)

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  • Add 1 cup water.

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  • Next add 1.5 cups of the alcaparrado.  (This was my “accidental revision” to the recipe.  I added waaaay more than called for.  When I realized, I picked some out (and ate it, of course!).  Despite the error, I really liked the final product, so I think I’ll go with this much every time!)

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  • Now, add your seasonings.  I used 2 bay leaves, 1.5 teaspoons cumin, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, and some s&p.

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  • Pour in a little of the brine from the alcaparrado.
  • Stir to combine.

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  • Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

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When it’s finished cooking, you can eat as is (like we did), or serve over rice.  Either way, enjoy!

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Slow Cooker Beef Picadillo (serves 6)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • ⅓ cup cilantro, minced
  • 1 cup spicy tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1½ cups alcaparrado, reserving ¼ cup of the brine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1½ teaspoons cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  • Add the ground beef to a skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Break up with a wooden spoon and cook until browned.
  • Add the onion, red pepper, and garlic to the beef.
  • Stir to combine and cook for about 4 minutes.
  • After the four minutes have passed, add the beef mixture to your slow cooker using a slotted spoon (to remove excess fat).
  • Add the tomatoes and cilantro.
  • Pour in the spicy tomato sauce.
  • Add the water.
  • Next add the alcaparrado.
  • Now, add all of the remaining seasonings.
  • Pour in the reserved brine from the alcaparrado.
  • Stir to combine.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
  • When it’s finished cooking, remove the bay leaves.
  • Eat as is, or serve over rice.

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