Brazilian picadillo

    2 hours

    My favourite aunt introduced me to this deliciously rich and fragrant dish. In the past few years I've made some changes and this is the recipe my family likes best. It's a great chilli con carne alternative and it freezes well. Try it on a jacket potato!

    139 people made this

    Serves: 12 

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    • 7 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 3 medium onions, chopped
    • 2 small green peppers, chopped
    • 1.5kg (3 lb) lean beef mince
    • 175g (6 oz) green olives, pitted and halved
    • 140g (5 oz) capers, rinsed and drained
    • 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 2 dried bay leaves
    • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
    • 3 (400g) tins chopped tomatoes

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:1hr30min  ›  Ready in:2hr 

    1. In a large stockpot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Sauté garlic, onions and green peppers until onions are transparent. Transfer onion mixture to a bowl and set aside. In the same pot, heat the remaining olive oil and brown the mince.
    2. In a separate saucepan, combine the olives, capers, vinegar, salt, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and hot sauce. Let simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes.
    3. Place the olive mixture and the onion mixture into the pot with the mince. Add the tomatoes and cook for 1 hour over medium heat; stirring occasionally.


    If you don't have any hot pepper sauce to hand, substitute a pinch of cayenne pepper.

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    Reviews in English (83)


    I'm giving this a 5 because this is a great template. I guess I prefer Cuban or Mexican Picadillo. I followed directions exactly only finding that the clove spice was very overpowering even though we like clove. I was able to correct that by adding some sugar and cumin. You can subsitute the cinnamon and clove with coriander and cumin. Cubans also add sultanas - which does add to the flavour! This dish is sometimes used as a filling for tacos and empanadas - it is a very flexible dish. You can make it into a stew by adding sweetcorn, etc. Tonite I served it with grated cheddar cheese and soured cream on the side. Red wine or cold beer go great with it. Thanks submitter.  -  15 Sep 2008


    Really liked this - thought the olives and capers gave it an interesting flavour. I too scaled it down to serve four and the portions were perfect. Will definitely make again (although my son said he preferred chilli - he does tend to favour known things over new!)  -  24 Oct 2011


    Really lovely. I didn't have ground cloves in the cupboard so I used all spice instead of the cinnamon and cloves, and it still tasted great  -  25 Jul 2010