This carne picada is fall-apart tender and incredibly rich in flavor. The recipe comes together with simple, easy-to-find ingredients and can be made on the stovetop, slow cooker, or in the Instant Pot. Not to mention, it's an amazing addition to standout tacos, quesadillas, and burrito bowls!
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The Best Carne Picada
If you've ever had really good Tex-Mex - or Mexican food - then you already know the backbone to any delicious taco, burrito, or rice bowl is ultra-tender and flavorful meat. And that's where this easy carne picada recipe comes in.
Whenever I'm craving something super meaty, hearty, and flavorful I make this recipe. This easy carne picada recipe is made with pantry staple ingredients and is not super spicy so everyone at the table can enjoy it.
But, of course, you can always add pepper or hot sauce for more heat! Then you can eat it with this cauliflower rice to balance out the spice.
Anyway, what I really love about this carne picada recipe is how easy it is to put together. It only takes about 15-20 minutes of active cooking time, then the rest is just leaving the meat to slow cook until tender and juicy.
It kind of reminds me of this carne asada. So, if you like tender meat, you'll definitely want to give that a try next.
Again, all the ingredients for this easy carne picada are simple grocery store finds.
Also, if you have a local farmers market, you should be able to pick all of them up from there too.
Anyway, here's everything you'll need to make this carne picada:
- 2 pounds Bottom Round Roast, cubed
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
- ½ cup Celery, chopped
- ½ cup Carrots, chopped
- ½ cup Red Onion, chopped
- 1 ½ cup Canned Crushed Tomatoes
- 2 Thyme Sprigs
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 2 cups Beef Stock
Now, these are the ingredients for the carne picada beef.
But, if you want to go the extra mile and prepare carne picada tacos, you can grab some crumbled queso fresco or cotija cheese, diced tomatoes, thinly sliced red onions, and fresh cilantro, plus your other favorite taco toppings.
Oh, and don't forget the corn tortillas or you can make these low carb tortillas for a low carb meal!
How To Make Carne Picada
So, you can make this carne picada beef in about 1 - 2 hours on the stovetop depending on how tender you want the meat to be.
And you can also finish it in the slow cooker if you want to prepare it hours in advance.
By the way, just so you know, this recipe makes enough for 4 generous servings, but you can always double or triple the recipe for more people.
Now, let's get into the recipe, and make some carne picada !
Step 1: Sear the Beef
First, heat a dutch oven or heavy bottom pot to medium high heat.
Then, while waiting for the pot to heat up, season the chopped beef with salt and pepper.
Next, add the olive oil to the dutch oven, followed by the beef.
Sear the carne picada meat for a few minutes on each side, turning the pieces until they're golden brown on all sides, then remove them from the pot.
Step 2: Make the Stewing Liquid
Next, add the celery, carrots, and red onion to the same pot. Cook the vegetables for about 10 minutes, occasionally stirring, until they soften.
Now, add the meat back to the pot and stir, mixing it with all the vegetables.
Then, add the crushed tomatoes followed by the thyme, bay leaves, and beef stock. Stir to combine, making sure to scrape up any of the browned bits at the bottom of the pan.
Step 3: Simmer and Serve
Once everything's in the pot, lower the temperature to medium heat.
Now, cover the Dutch oven and cook for about 1 hour, or until the meat is fork-tender. By the way, if you start to notice it getting too dry or if the liquid decreases, you can add a bit more stock or water as needed.
Once the beef is nice and soft, it's ready to serve! If you're serving carne picada tacos, simply put the meat in the tortilla of your choice, and enjoy this delicious Mexican food.
Step 3A: Slow Cooker carne picada
If you want to adapt this recipe to make slow cooker carne picada, follow the stovetop instructions listed above.
Then, after combining the beef, vegetables, herbs, and liquid, transfer everything to the slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
How to Store Leftover Carne Picada
So, as you know, this recipe for carne picada meat will make about 4 large servings - perfect for a weeknight dinner or meal prep.
If you end up having leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge to store about 3-5 days.
How To Reheat Carne Picada
To reheat the carne picada, the best way is to put it back in a large pot on the stovetop over low heat.
Then, warm it up for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until it reaches your desired temperature. Also, just so you know, you can add some water - or stock - to the pot to keep the meat from drying out.
FAQs About this Carne Picada Recipe
What is carne picada made of?
Carne picada is usually made from a tougher cut of beef, such as chuck or bottom round roast. This allows the meat to cook in a seasoned tomato-based sauce over a long period of time so it turns out ultra tender.
What is the difference between carne asada and carne picada?
Carne asada means "grilled meat" while carne picada means "minced meat". While both are Mexican dishes made of beef, carne asada refers to beef steaks cooked on a grill while carne picada usually refers to chopped beef braised in a tomato-based sauce. Oh, and if you like carne asada, you can order it to make one of these Chipotle keto bowls.
Is carne picada the same as stew meat?
Carne picada is typically made of stew meat, usually chuck steak or bottom round roast. This might explain why in some grocery stores you'll find pre-chopped stew meat labeled as carne picada. It's the same thing as stew meat and you can use it for other recipes, but make sure it's cut to the same size you need.
Wrapping It Up
Well, that's how to make carne picada!
This simple and versatile recipe is a must-have for taco nights or anytime you just want a warm and comforting tender beef recipe for dinner. It's become one of my favorite weeknight meals.
Seriously, it's easy to make, doesn't take a lot of effort, and tastes absolutely amazing.
Anyway, I hope you like this easy carne picada recipe as much as I do.
If you make it, be sure to let me know in the comments what you think. I'd love to hear your thoughts!
More Dinner Recipes
If you liked this carne picada recipe - and want to try some more dinner recipes like this one - I have a ton on the blog that I think you'll like.
Here are some more of my favorite weeknight meals:
- Blackened chicken
- Pan seared halibut
- Air fryer pork chops
- Air fryer chicken breast
- Air fryer turkey tenderloin
- Mexican chorizo
The Best Carne Picada Recipe | Prepped In 10 Minutes
This carne picada is fall-apart tender and incredibly rich in flavor. The recipe comes together with simple, easy-to-find ingredients and can be made on the stovetop, slow cooker, or instant pot. It's an amazing addition for standout tacos, quesadillas, and burrito bowls!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 ½ hours
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat on the stovetop.
- Season the meat with salt and pepper and sear it in the Dutch oven with olive oil for a few minutes until golden on every side.
- Remove from the pot.
- Add the celery, carrots and red onion to the Dutch oven and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the meat back to the pot and add the crushed tomatoes.
- Add the thyme, bay and beef stock.
- Lower the temperature to medium, cover and cook for 1 hour, or until the meat is soft (if it gets too dry you can add a bit more stock).
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 549
- Fat: 26
- Carbohydrates: 9
- Fiber: 3
- Protein: 62
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