Beef Chorizo and Potato Picadillo

The other day I inadvertently picked up a package of beef chorizo instead of the usual pork. Not being sure what to do with it I went to the Web and discovered that it is most often eaten with eggs for breakfast. That seemed to me a bit heavy so I dug a bit deeper and found this recipe on the Web site of chorizo manufacturer Cacique®. (I modified it a bit to reduce the fat.)

Picadillo, if you are unfamiliar with the term, is basically Spanish for hash. Different versions are common throughout Latin America and in the Philippines. In Mexico picadillo is often used as filling for tacos or enchiladas. This version is a too chunky for tacos so I simply layered it on freshly made corn tortillas, topped it with a dollop of sour cream, and garnished with pickled chiles. If you really wanted to use it in tacos you could chop the potatoes into small dice and cook the onions and pepper separately.

Serves 2 to 4

Ingredients

  •  3 or 4 medium potatoes, about 1½ pounds
  • ½ pound beef chorizo (pork chorizo would work just as well)
  • Oil
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 jalapeño chile, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, halved lengthwise, then cut lengthwise into ¼-inch wide strips
  • 1 large bell pepper, cut lengthwise into ¼-inch wide strips
  • ½ cup water
  • Corn tortillas, sour cream, and chopped pickled chiles to serve

Method

Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the potatoes whole and unpeeled for 15 to 20 minutes or until they can be pierced easily with a small knife. Drain and allow to cool while browning the chorizo.

If necessary, remove the chorizo from its plastic casing and chop finely. Place in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often, until the meat is browned and the fat is rendered out of it, about 5 minutes. Remove to strainer set over a bowl to drain. Pour the fat from the pan but do not wash out.

Using your hands under running water, remove the peels from the potatoes. Cut each potato in half crosswise then, with cut side of each half down, slice into ½-inch pieces resembling short, fat French fries. Film the skillet with oil and place over medium-high heat. When hot add the potatoes and the salt. Cook tossing or turning often, adding a bit of oil as needed to prevent sticking, until brown and crispy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside in a large bowl.

Return the skillet to medium heat and add more oil to it. Sauté the jalapeno, pepper, and onion, tossing or stirring often, until softened but still a bit crisp, about 5 or 6 minutes.  Add the chorizo and water. Raise the heat somewhat and boil until the liquid is reduced to about ¼ cup, 3 or 4 minutes.

Turn the chorizo mixture into the bowl of potatoes and fold gently to combine. Place a tortilla onto a small plate and cover with a layer of picadillo. Cover with another tortilla and another layer of picadillo. Top with sour cream and garnish with sliced pickled jalapeños or chopped cilantro—or both.

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