How to Cook Carne Picada

Barbeque pulled pork ciabatta open sandwich, top view
Who wouldn't want to make a carne picada sandwich? (Image: from_my_point_of_view/iStock/GettyImages)

Carne picada is thinly sliced or shredded beef. It is typically chuck beef, but meat labeled as carne picada may also contain other lower-grade cuts of beef.

You may be more familiar with carne asada than carna picada. Carne asada is usually grilled as a steak, or sliced for use in fajitas; picada on the other hand is sliced or shredded, and usually cooked in a sauce as well.

Because it's thinly sliced, it cooks quickly, which makes it appropriate for sandwiches or burritos when you are short on time. Carne picada is commonly sold in Hispanic grocery stores, although it is also found in some large supermarkets in the United States.

Things You'll Need

  • Skillet

  • Olive oil

  • Bell peppers

  • Onions

  • Carne picada

  • Aluminum foil

  • Large pot

Tip

Add cumin, diced garlic and cayenne pepper to carne picada to give it a spicy flavor.

Pan-Frying

Step 1: Turn Up the Heat

Place a large skillet on a stove-top burner and turn the heat to medium. Add one tablespoon of olive oil and let it heat for one to two minutes.

Step 2: Time to Saute

Add sliced bell peppers and onions to the oil. Saute for two to three minutes, or until the onions begin to brown.

Step 3: Add Your Meat

Add carne picada. Fry for five to six minutes, stirring occasionally to promote even heating. Remove from the heat when the meat is cooked through and begins to brown on the edges.

Grilling

Step 1: Prep Your Grill

Place a sheet of aluminum foil on the cooking grate of a heated propane or charcoal grill. Brush olive oil on the aluminum foil.

Step 2: Add Your Ingredients

Place the carne picada, sliced onions and bell peppers on the aluminum foil. Spread the meat in a thin layer on the foil to allow it to cook quickly and evenly.

Step 3: Grill, Baby, Grill

Grill for four to five minutes or until the meat begins to brown. Move the carne picada around on the foil occasionally during cooking to prevent burning.

Boiling

Step 1: Prep Your Pot

Fill a large pot about a third of the way full with water. Place the pot on a stove-top burner and turn the heat to medium-high. Bring the water to a boil.

Step 2: Add Your Meat

Add carne picada to your boiling water a handful at a time. Allow the water to return to a boil.

Step 3: Simmer to a Finish

Turn the heat to low and cover the pot. Allow the carne picada to simmer for five to seven minutes or until cooked through.

Tip

Test the internal temperature of the carne picada with a meat thermometer. The beef should have an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit to be consumed safely.

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