Oaxacan Pork Picadillo Tacos

This is an easy upgrade to the typical Taco Tuesday ground beef tacos. Rick Bayless uses tomatoes and sweet spices to flavor the meat (ground pork) as well as nuts and raisins to add contrasting texture. Delicious!

We ate the picadillo in warm hard-shell taco shells with avocado slices, refried beans, steamed greens, and brown Basmati rice. A little sprinkling of feta or queso fresco was a nice garnish too. This recipe was adapted from Rick Bayless.com.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
  • 1 1/2 T vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean, coarse-ground pork
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns OR about 3/4 tsp ground
  • 1-inch piece cinnamon stick OR 1 teaspoon ground
  • 5 cloves OR about 1/8 teaspoon ground
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 4 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • coarse salt (about 1 teaspoon)

  1. Pour the tomatoes directly into a blender and blend until smooth. (I used a Vitamix.)
  2. Heat the oil in a large, 14-inch skillet over medium heat. (I used enameled cast iron.)
  3. When hot, add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook 2 minutes longer.
  4. Add the pork in a thin layer and fry, stirring frequently, until cooked and lightly brown. (If quite a bit of fat has rendered from the meat, drain it off.)
  5. If using whole spices, add the pepper, cinnamon and cloves in a mortar or spice grinder. Add the ground spices to the skillet along with the tomato puree, raisins and vinegar.
  6. Simmer until reduced to a thick, homogenous mass, 30 to 45 minutes.
  7. While the filling simmers, toast the almonds for about 8 to 10 minutes in a 325 degree oven.
  8. Stir toasted almonds into the filling; adjust seasoning as needed with salt. Serve.

Note: The finished picadillo can be covered and refrigerated for 3 or 4 days.

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About Josette@thebrookcook

I live in Stony Brook, New York on Long Island. I love garlic and baking. My hobby (and love) is to try new recipes. My favorite recipe resources include The New York Times, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, and Martha Stewart Living. Enjoy!

16 responses to “Oaxacan Pork Picadillo Tacos

  1. This looks just delicious Josette! I finally bought a pullman bread pan and can’t wait to try your bread recipe too.

  2. I love a good picadillo recipe! Are there just two of you or more in the household? I always have to halve recipes like this.

    • We’ve got some kids here too! (and my husband usually eats a couple servings!) 😉 I am obsessed with leftovers so I usually don’t cut recipes down anyway.

      • Josette, I was wanting to make the Greek Mediterranean chicken and potatoes that I *thought* you had posted recently, but can’t find them on your blog! Am I dreaming that you posted those recipes? I had your name by it on my “to make” list!

      • Oh no!! I don’t think it was my recipe- I asked my husband & he doesn’t think so either. :/ I’m glad you’re dreaming about my recipes! 🙂 ❤

      • LOL that is so funny Josette! I guess I like your recipes so much that I wrote your name by in on my to make list! 😀 Now I have to go find out which blogger REALLY made the recipe. 🙂

  3. Looks delish and I’ve had a lot of fun with Rick Bayless’ recipes over the years! I usually make the full amounts and freeze half for dishes like this… 🙂

  4. Josette, when are you going to invite me over for dinner! I love, love tacos!

  5. Ohhh, that looks so good! I love Rick Bayless’ recipes.

  6. I have to try this one:) love all the flavors! Thanks for sharing!

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