If you haven’t yet come across Carne Picada, it’s about time to try this Tex-Mex delish from our Latin neighbors.
If you are an Aldi or Hispanic grocery store frequenter, the chances of you coming across this thin shavings of beef (that you can almost mistake for ground beef) are high.
Now this Picada style “carne” meaning beef, turns into delicious Taco and Burrito meat with a few Mexican earthy spices braised in tomato sauce. Get ready to try a new taco or burrito with the most flavorful meat in between that tortilla.
We are always hunting for new Mexican flavors in our kitchen. So when we came across this unusual looking cut of beef, labeled as “Carne Picada” at Aldi, of course we had to find out what and how to cook with it.
We really liked the sound and look of what you can do with this beef. So here we are making Carne Picada, and its goodness, famous for y’all…
You will love Carne Picada, cos
- This Carne Picada meat is ideal, and a novel meat perfect for all your Mexican favorites like Tacos, Burritos, Taco Bowls, Quesadillas, Fajitas, or even just with plain white rice or Cilantro Lime Rice.
- Since it’s chopped like thin shavings of beef, it cooks fast, like ground beef. This makes it ideal if you crave a taco night for your busy weeknight dinners.
- You will love the new, very authentically delicious, yet very easy Mexican flavors with this new Carne Picada meat.
What is Carne Picada?
Carne Picada means “minced or ground or chopped meat” in Spanish. Chopped meat is the closest description in terms of looks and appearance. It’s more like very thin strips or shavings of sliced steak.
Most often it is cut from the bottom round, chuck roast or chuck steak, which are budget-friendly beef cuts that cook best slowly. But since they are chopped very thinly in this case, Carne Picada cooks pretty quickly.
Carne Picada is a very popular Tex-Mex recipe with Hispanic communities all over Texas, and you will see this Picada style beef in many of their local grocery stores.
Aldi’s always carry this unique meat in their meat section, and that’s where we first come across Carne Picada.
Though Carne Picada literally translates to chopped meat, it typically refers to a dish of tender braised beef in a tomato-pepper sauce with herbs and spices. Once you cook Carne Picada, it can be used in tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, fajitas, quesadillas and so forth.
Carne Picada is different from Carne Asada, which is grilled steak, and Carne Molida, which is minced meat or ground beef, and Carne Guisada, which is stew style meat. I know… lots of yummy delicious Latin food!
Carne Picada Ingredients
- Carne Picada meat
- To season Carne Picada – Oregano, brown sugar, cumin, coriander powder, red chili flakes, salt, black pepper, and dried ancho powder. (Ancho is the name for dried poblano peppers, a dark, smoky, but relatively mild chili, popular in Mexican cuisine)
- Veggies – Onion, tomatoes, bell peppers (red and green). You can use fire roasted canned tomatoes instead of fresh for a little different flavor.
- Flavor enhancers – Garlic, jalapeño.
- To serve – Flour or corn tortillas, or rice with your favorite toppings.
How to Make Carne Picada
1. Season Carne Picada and marinate: Mix all the seasoning ingredients in a bowl and season the meat all over. You might use a fork to separate the beef shavings lightly, so the seasoning is well coated all over. Season it in the morning to cook for the evening meal, or season overnight for great flavors. Cover with cling wrap and store in the refrigerator.
2. Cook Carne Picada: Start by heating oil in a skillet over medium high heat and sauté onion for 3-4 minutes. Add in bell peppers, along with garlic and jalapeño, and sauté for 5 minutes. Add in seasoned Carne Picada, mix well. Cook it till the meat is brown all over. Add in tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Slow Cooker Carne Picada
You can make the same recipe in a crock pot, too. Simply sear the seasoned meat with a little oil in a skillet, then transfer the meat along with the rest of the ingredients into a crock pot.
Cover and cook the beef on high for 3 hours, or low for 6 hours. You can make this a little stewy too, by adding a dash of water or beef broth.
Carne Picada Variations:
- If you don’t find carne Picada meat, you can chop chuck roast or round steak into very small cubes or slices, and use it instead.
- Make it more spicy by playing with chilies. Add other Mexican chilis like arbol chilis, or add more red chili flakes. Or give it more a smoky taste by adding chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
- Give it a little more tang by adding fresh lime or lemon to the meat.
- Add in soy sauce or orange juice while the meat is cooking for different Latin flavors.
How to Serve Carne Picada
1. Serve it in tacos (we love corn tortillas with this one), burritos and taco bowls with your favorite toppings. Recommended toppings are a shredded cheese of your choice, chopped tomatoes, avocado, pico de gallo, and salsa.
2. Serve it in lettuce wraps for a low carb option.
3. You can serve Carne Picada as leftovers with fried eggs for breakfast.
4. Use the taco meat as filling for quesadillas, fajitas, enchiladas, tostadas, or even in Mexican skillets.
Leftovers and Storing
Carne Picada is great as leftovers, so go ahead and make a large batch as a meal prep option. Cool it completely, then refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and simply reheat in a skillet until warmed through, or in the microwave until hot.
We personally love these Carne Picada Loaded Tacos so much, that this meat is our regular go-to whenever we stop by at Aldi now a days.
Give these new delicious tacos a try tonight, and get amazed at so many new flavors of this world. Taco night just got more interesting with yet another new flavor… Carne Picada flavor!
Carne Picada Tacos, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
Craving more tacos? Try our…
Ground Beef Tacos
Ground Turkey Tacos
Baja Fish Tacos
Carne Picada (Best Taco / Burrito Meat)
This recipe for Carne Picada meat is a perfect filling for tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, and so much more! It's a great easy weeknight dinner when you crave Tex-Mex flavors.
To season the meat
- 2 pounds carne picada meat
- 1 Tbsp dried ancho chili powder
- 3 tsp oregano (use Mexican oregano, if handy)
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- 2 tsp salt
- 1.5 tsp black pepper
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/2-1 jalapeño, descended and chopped
- 3 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 1 small green peppers, diced
- 1 small red pepper, diced
- Corn or flour tortillas
- Taco toppings of your choice
- Season the carne picada meat with all the spice seasonings. Cover and let it sit in refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or prep it in the morning.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, and sauté onion for 3-4 minutes. Add in bell peppers along with garlic and jalapeño, sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add in seasoned carne picada and mix well. Cook it till the meat is brown all over.
- Add in tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve it in tacos, burritos and taco bowls with your favorite toppings.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 418Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 120mgSodium 778mgCarbohydrates 18gFiber 3gSugar 5gProtein 39g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
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