Homemade Picadillo with Flour Tortillas: A Delicious Comfort Meal

Picadillo, a traditional Latin American dish, combines ground beef with a medley of flavorful ingredients to create a hearty and satisfying meal. Paired with homemade flour tortillas, this recipe brings together the essence of comfort food with a touch of homemade goodness. Let’s dive into the step-by-step process of creating this culinary delight in your own kitchen.

Ingredients:

For the Picadillo:

  • 1.5 pounds of ground beef
  • 5 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 jalapeños (optional)
  • 1 Serrano pepper (optional)
  • Handful of cilantro
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Flour Tortillas:

  • 4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 cup of vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup of warm water

Directions:

For the Picadillo:

  1. Begin by browning the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat. While the meat browns, prepare the tomatoes, halved onion, and jalapeños by boiling them until softened.
  2. Once the vegetables are boiled, transfer them to a blender along with the cilantro. Blend until smooth to create a flavorful salsa.
  3. To the browned beef, add the chopped onions, garlic, and blended tomato salsa. Pour in the chicken stock and sprinkle in the cumin, Mexican oregano, salt, and pepper.
  4. Stir the ingredients together and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer until the potatoes are tender and the flavors meld together into a deliciously aromatic concoction.

For the Flour Tortillas:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix well to ensure even distribution of ingredients.
  2. Add the vegetable shortening to the dry mixture and incorporate it thoroughly using your hands or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Gradually pour in the warm water, stirring continuously, until a dough forms. Knead the dough gently until it becomes smooth and elastic.
  4. Place the dough in a ziplock bag and let it rest for at least one hour to allow the gluten to relax and the flavors to develop.
  5. After resting, divide the dough into small balls and roll them out into thin circles on a floured surface.
  6. Heat a griddle or skillet over medium-high heat and cook the tortillas for about 1-2 minutes on each side, or until they puff up and develop golden brown spots.
  7. Serve the warm tortillas alongside the flavorful picadillo for a homemade meal that’s sure to delight your taste buds and warm your soul.

Tips and Variations:

  1. Customize the Heat: Adjust the spiciness of the picadillo by adding more or fewer jalapeños and Serrano peppers according to your preference.
  2. Add Vegetables: Enhance the nutritional value of the dish by incorporating additional vegetables such as diced potatoes, carrots, or bell peppers.
  3. Swap Ground Meat: Experiment with different types of ground meat such as turkey, chicken, or pork for a unique flavor profile.
  4. Enhance the Flavor: Elevate the taste of the picadillo by adding a splash of lime juice or a drizzle of vinegar for a tangy kick.
  5. Garnish with Fresh Herbs: Sprinkle chopped fresh cilantro or parsley over the finished dish for a burst of freshness and color.

How to Store:

  • Store leftover picadillo in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.
  • Flour tortillas can be stored in a ziplock bag or wrapped in aluminum foil at room temperature for 2-3 days. To extend their shelf life, store them in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze them for longer storage. Reheat thawed tortillas on a hot skillet or in the microwave before serving.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

  1. Can I make the picadillo ahead of time?
  • Yes, you can prepare the picadillo in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.
  1. Can I freeze the picadillo?
  • Absolutely! Allow the picadillo to cool completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers or ziplock bags. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  1. Can I use store-bought tortillas instead of homemade?
  • Of course! While homemade tortillas add a special touch to the dish, store-bought tortillas can be used as a convenient alternative.
  1. Is picadillo gluten-free?
  • The picadillo itself is typically gluten-free, but be sure to check the labels of your ingredients, especially the chicken stock and any spice blends, to ensure they don’t contain gluten. As for the flour tortillas, they are not gluten-free due to the use of all-purpose flour.
  1. Can I make the tortillas without vegetable shortening?
  • Yes, you can substitute vegetable shortening with an equal amount of lard, butter, or even coconut oil for a slightly different flavor.

Conclusion:

With its savory flavors and comforting aromas, homemade picadillo with flour tortillas is a culinary masterpiece that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re cooking for family dinner or hosting a gathering with friends, this recipe is sure to impress. So gather your ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to experience the joy of homemade goodness in every bite. Enjoy!

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