Cuban Picadillo in Napa Cabbage Rolls
Prep time
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"Picadillo" is a very famous Cuban ground beef dish. This particular Picadillo recipe has been passed down and perfected through several generations - and paired with napa cabbage, it makes for a deliciously healthy treat!
Serves: 4
For the Picadillo:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb lean ground beef (at least 93% lean)
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 5 pimento-stuffed olives
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ⅜ cup burgundy cooking wine
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive juice (from olive jar)
  • ½ of a medium tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sazon completa
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon of dried, flaked oregano (optional)
  • 1 packet "Sazon with Azafran" by Goya (or replace with saffron)
For the cabbage:
  • 1 head of napa cabbage
  • ¾ cup water
For the Picadillo:
  1. Heat oil in a medium heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Add in the beef, red pepper, onions, garlic, raisins, olives, and salt, and stir to combine.
  2. Stirring occasionally, cook the mixture until the meat is browned. Lower the heat to medium.
  3. Pour in wine, vinegar, and olive juice and continue to stir occasionally.
  4. Add in the tomato, and stir it in.
  5. Add in black pepper, oregano, and packet of Sazon, and stir them in.
  6. Taste test the salt---add in more if necessary.
  7. Continue to cook until the liquid is reduced by at least half, about 10-15 minutes.
For the cabbage:
  1. Lay four nappa cabbage leaves at a time (stacked, if necessary) in a large, nonstick skillet. Pour in the water, and cover. Set the heat to medium high. Cook until the cabbage is the desired level of tenderness.
For plating:
  1. Lay a cabbage leaf out on a clean surface. Drop 2-3 tablespoons of picadillo into the center of the leaf, and proceed to roll it like a burrito. Enjoy!
*Some people like to include potatoes in this dish - if you want to include them, simply dice 1-2 potatoes and add them in prior to evaporating out the liquid and cook until the potatoes are tender (you may also need to add more salt)
*For sweeter picadillo, add more raisins at the beginning and more cooking wine - this is not a sweet version
Recipe by The Heart of Homemade at