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Easy Carne Picada Recipe

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Make delicious Mexican tacos at home! Check out this easy carne picada recipe. With just a few ingredients you have a yummy dinner!

 

Mexican food is my favorite! I loved living in Mexico and having access to the most amazing Mexican food available. Unfortunately, restaurants in the US are not as good as in Mexico – so I need to make things at home when I want to enjoy the best flavors of Mexico!

Here are some of my favorites:

  • Carne Asada tacos – so quick and easy with so much flavor!
  • Picadillo – my kids love this meal. It’s really cheap and so easy to make. You use carne molida (ground beef) and make a salsa with a tomato mixture that includes chipotle peppers, and onions and then add some potatoes and carrots and serve it over rice.
  • If you want a sorta Mexican meal – we love to make these burrito bowls.
  • And if you want a very unique Mexican dish – try these Pambasos

Mexican meals are the best – they are my favorite weeknight meals!

 

 

What is Carne Picada Meat? 

Carne Picada translates to “minced meat” in Spanish. It is not ground beef or shaved beef. It’s more like a cut of beef that was chopped into very tiny pieces. I love that it’s diced really small so it can be used in so many meals! We love it for tacos, nachos, or rice bowls!

I usually shop at Publix and I don’t see this package of meat – but I have seen it at Walmart. If your store does not carry it you could ask the butcher to chop a chuck roast or bottom round roast into tiny diced pieces. These are more economical cuts of meat – so it’s a great way to feed a lot of people!

Don’t mix this up with carne asada. They are different cuts of beef. Carne Asada uses more tender meat like skirt steak or flank steak. And then it is grilled and chopped into pieces.

Carne picada beef is a cheaper cut of beef that is cooked in a liquid. You could even cook it in an instant pot or slow cooker to break up the meat to make it more tender.

The main differences are the cost and tenderness of the beef. Carne asada has a better texture – but with the right cooking method, any meat will be delicious!

 

Make delicious Mexican tacos at home! Check out this easy carne picada recipe. With just a few ingredients you have a yummy dinner!

Scroll to the bottom for the printable recipe

Carne Picada

  • 1 tablespoon dried ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 pounds Carne Picada
  • 3 large cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and minced
  • 1 onion chopped
  • ​​ The juice of two limes

 

Cooking Method Carne Picada Tacos

 

 

Combine the spices and set them aside.

 

In a large bowl or large zip-top bag add the spice mixture and meat. Add the lime juice to the meat and stir to fully coat the meat. Let it sit for at least 1 hour but for best results, 4 hours is optimal marinading time.

 

Make delicious Mexican tacos at home! Check out this easy carne picada recipe. With just a few ingredients you have a yummy dinner!

 

In a large heavy-bottom pan add about 2 tablespoons of your favorite oil. We prefer olive oil but you can use canola oil or vegetable oil.

 

Make delicious Mexican tacos at home! Check out this easy carne picada recipe. With just a few ingredients you have a yummy dinner!

 

Saute onion and jalapeno in the pan and sautee until the onions are clear over medium heat. Add beef to the pan and cook until they are almost cooked. Add the diced garlic to the pan for a minute – but watch it’s not too hot.

Depending on how big your pan is – you may need to sear meat in 2 batches. Transfer beef to a plate and add a little more oil and then add the rest of the meat to cook completely. Add it all back to the pan.

 

Make delicious Mexican tacos at home! Check out this easy carne picada recipe. With just a few ingredients you have a yummy dinner!

 

Normally as the meat cooks. there is a lot of juice in the pan – this is helping to make the meat more tender. So turn up the burner to high heat, and let the moisture evaporate.

Serve the cooked meat on a warm corn tortilla with your favorite taco toppings:

  • Pico de Gallo
  • Extra limes
  • Cilantro
  • onions
  • sour cream – mix it with a little water so it’s easier to drizzle over the tacos
  • slice avocado
  • cotija cheese

And if you want, add some refried beans and Mexican rice to the menu!

Tips:

  • You could substitute the jalapeno pepper for poblano peppers.
  • Add a dash of cayenne pepper or chili powder for a little more heat!
  • Heat the corn tortillas over medium low heat in a large skillet for a few minutes. Store them in a towel to keep warm.
  • Make sure you have lots of paper towels handy – these are messy but delicious!

Are you looking for more easy weeknight dinners? Check out my recipes for some of my family’s favorite meals!

 

Easy Carne Picada Recipe

Easy Carne Picada Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon dried ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 pounds Carne Picada
  • 3 large cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and minced
  • 1 onion chopped
  • ​​ The juice of two limes

Instructions

Combine the spices and set aside.

In a large bowl or large zip-top bag add the spice mixture and meat. Add the lime juice to the meat and stir to fully coat the meat. Let it sit for at least 1 hour but for best results, 4 hours is optimal marinading time.

In a large heavy-bottom pan add about 2 tablespoons of your favorite oil. We prefer olive oil but you can use canola oil or vegetable oil.

Saute onion and jalapeno in the pan and sautee until the onions are clear over medium heat. Add beef to the pan and cook until they are almost cooked. Add the diced garlic to the pan for a minute - but watch it's not too hot.

Depending on how big your pan is - you may need to sear meat in 2 batches. Transfer beef to a plate and add a little more oil and then add the rest of the meat to cook completely. Add it all back to the pan.

Normally as the meat cooks. there is a lot of juice in the pan - this is helping to make the meat more tender. So turn up the burner to high heat or medium-high heat, and let the moisture evaporate.

Serve the cooked meat on a warm corn tortilla with your favorite taco toppings:

  • Pico de Gallo
  • Extra limes
  • Cilantro
  • onions
  • sour cream - mix it with a little water so it's easier to drizzle over the tacos
  • slice avocado
  • cotija cheese

Did you make this recipe?

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Sandy C.

Thursday 24th of November 2022

This looks like a fine recipe. I know what you mean about the paper towels, we are all kind of clumsy anyway. Pinned and planned, thanks! (And Happy Thanksgiving!)

Jesse

Wednesday 23rd of November 2022

Taco night is our favorite meal. Want to add this to our menu. I'll make their favorites, and sneak in a bowl of this taco meat, and see if they like it

Christy DuBois

Thursday 17th of November 2022

I am glad I saw this recipe. It sounds so good. And I am glad to know about this meat. I’d love to try this and will let you know how it turns out when I do.

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