Simple, yet with depth of flavour and a little spice kick, carne picada recipe transforms humble chuck roast or steak into a succulent, flavourful, braised beef. Serve it over rice, in tacos, burritos, or with a side of vegetables or salad.
In This Post:
- ℹ️ Recipe Overview
- 🛒 Ingredients
- 📷 How To Make
- 💭 Recipe Tips
- 🍚 What To Serve With
- Storage Tips
- 📝 Go To Full Recipe
Carne Picada Recipe
Carne picada, meaning “chopped meat” in Spanish, is a dish that shines with its simplicity and depth of flavour. This recipe transforms cubed chuck steak or roast into a tender, spicy beef stew, simmered with tomatoes, green bell peppers, and jalapeños.
I recently had carne picada at a friend’s house and we chatted about how it’s one of those cooked and loved recipes that’s on a weekly rotation in their house. For them, it came down to its versatility (serve it in tacos, over rice, in a salad bowl and so on), accessibility (no hard-to-find ingredients or complicated techniques) and flavour.
Speaking of flavour, I loved the balance of heat, spice, and savoury notes in this dish. I think it’s one of those crowd-pleasers that has a kick without overwhelming the palate.
So, I’ve decided to learn how to make carne picada and now I am sharing the recipe with you.
👉 If you’re looking for more dinner recipes, make sure to try my Mexican shredded beef, Mexican-inspired chicken schnitzel, and spiced tuna steak. Serve with a side of arroz rojo or this salad with black beans, corn & avocado. You can find Mexican-inspired appetizers here.
Here is what you need to make this carne picada recipe:
- Chuck Steak or Roast: The heart of the dish, providing rich flavour and tenderness. Alternatives like stew meat or flank steak can be used, adjusting cooking times as needed.
- Onions and garlic: the classic foundation of flavours, sweet and pungent
- Tomatoes, green bell pepper, and jalapeño: These veggies add freshness, a slight crunch, and a kick. Feel free to adjust the amount of jalapeño to control the heat.
- Spice mix: The combination of flour, cumin, black pepper, oregano, and chili powder creates a richly flavoured base. Gluten-free flour can be used for a gluten-sensitive diet.
How To Make Carne Picada
Find the full list of ingredients, nutritional info, and instructions in the recipe card below. Here are some step-by-step pictures to guide you along.
- Prepare the spice rub: Mix flour, oregano, salt, black pepper, cumin seeds, and chili powder in a large bowl. Coat the cubed chuck roast evenly and let it marinate for at least 2 hours to enhance the flavours.
- Cook the Meat: Heat olive oil in a pot over medium-high. Brown the marinated beef until golden, then deglaze the pan with a splash of water to incorporate the flavorful bits into the dish.
- Combine Ingredients: Add softened diced onions to the pot, followed by the canned tomatoes, diced green bell pepper, and sliced jalapeño. Stir well.
- Simmer: Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 75-90 minutes, allowing the meat to tenderize and the flavours to meld.
- Final Touches: Adjust seasoning to taste with salt, pepper, or more chili powder. Serve hot with rice, tortillas, or your favourite sides.
- Adjust Spice Level – Tailor the spice level to your preference by adjusting the amount of jalapeño and chilli powder.
- Marinating time – Allowing the meat to marinate for a minimum of 2 hours enhances flavour. For even more depth, marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
- Toppings – Serve the Carne Picada with traditional taco toppings like shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, cheese, and a squeeze of lime for a burst of freshness.
- Accompaniments – Pair the Carne Picada with soft tortillas for flavourful tacos or serve it over Arroz Rojo (Mexican red rice) for a complete meal.
- Consistency – For a thicker stew, you can use crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce instead of diced tomatoes.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- If you have a larger batch, the carne picada freezes well. Allow it to cool completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers. It can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.
- Reheat on the stovetop over medium heat, adding a splash of water if needed to maintain moisture.
- For a quick reheating, use the microwave, covering the dish to prevent drying.
What To Make With Carne Picada
- Fill warm tortillas with the carne picada and your favourite toppings for delicious tacos. It’s also good wrapped up in a burrito or used to make enchiladas.
- Serve the spicy meat generously over Mexican red rice (arroz rojo) for a hearty and flavouful rice meal. You can also use quinoa or cauliflower rice.
- Transform the carne picada into a taco salad by placing it over a bed of lettuce and topping it with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.
More Mexican-Inspired Recipes
Find the full list of ingredients, instructions, and a nutritional breakdown below. If you have questions or cook this recipe, please let me know in the comments, and make sure to rate this recipe so it’s easy for others to find.
For the spice mix:
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 lb chuck steak or roast cubed (450-500 grams)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion small, diced
- 1 can tomatoes whole or diced
- 1 cup green bell pepper diced (about 150 grams)
- 1 jalapeño sliced
Prepare the meat rub
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, dried oregano, salt, black pepper, cumin seeds, and chili powder.
- Add the cubed chuck roast to the bowl and mix until the meat is well coated. Let it marinate for at least 2 hours, allowing the flavours to infuse into the meat.
Cook the meat
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
- Brown the marinated chuck roast cubes in the hot oil until they develop a golden crust.
Deglaze the Pan:
- Deglaze the pan by adding a splash of water, and scraping up any flavourful bits from the bottom.
- Add the diced onion to the pot and cook until softened, stirring occasionally.
- Incorporate the marinated meat, diced canned tomatoes, diced green bell pepper, and sliced jalapeño into the pot. Mix the ingredients thoroughly.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the stew simmer for 75-90 minutes. This slow simmer allows the meat to become tender and the flavours to meld.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. You can add more salt, black pepper, or chilli powder according to your preference.
- Once the meat is tender and the flavours have developed, serve your hearty Mexican Carne Picada hot. It pairs well with rice or tortillas.