I use venison here, but really any ground meat works fine. I really like what lard brings to the party here, but then I use freshly rendered lard, not the shelf-stable crap. If you hate lard, use duck fat or olive oil. Once made, the picadillo will keep a week in the fridge.
3tablespoonsfreshly rendered lard, or some other fat
2poundsground venison or other meat
1large white onion, chopped fine
1carrot, peeled and diced
1cuppeeled, diced potato(optional)
Dried, crushed chiltepin chiles(or any hot chile)
4clovesgarlic, chopped fine
1cuproasted green Hatch, Anaheim or poblano chiles, chopped(about 4 to 6 chiles)
2 to 4roasted whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
10green olives, chopped
2teaspoonsdried oregano,Mexican if possible
1teaspoonground black pepper
2cupsvenison stock, or any other stock
Heat the lard over high heat in a large skillet; I use a cast iron frying pan. Add the venison, spreading it out in an even layer. Salt it well. Sear this without touching for 2 to 3 minutes. Then stir well and sear some more. You want the meat to get legitimate browning, not just turning gray. Sometimes this takes 10 minutes or so.
Add the onion, carrot, potato and hot chiles, if using. Mix well and cook these for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
Add all the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Turn the heat down to medium and let this simmer for maybe 5 to 10 minutes, until it is as soupy or as dry as you like.
Ground beef is the most common meat used in picadillo, but it can be pretty much anything.
Keys to Success
Picadillo should be finely ground, so use only finely ground meat. This is not a problem if you are buying it, only if you are grinding it yourself. I use a 4.5 mm die if you are wondering.
If you plan on making burritos, definitely add the potatoes. It helps bulk it up.
As for the roasted green chiles, you can use canned ones if you don't feel like roasting your own.
If you hate olives, skip them. They are not in every version of picadillo.
Chiltepin chiles are hard to come by - I grow them - so any sort of heat will do, from red pepper flakes and cayenne to Thai chiles to serranos or habaneros.