Picadillo Beef Quesadillas
What are Picadillo Beef Quesadillas? It’s quesadilla meat that was slow-cooked with the same ingredients as pico de gallo. At least that’s the way my recipe worked out.
While picadillo is traditionally made with ground beef, mine was made with sirloins. Our local store had run a great sale on sirloin steaks so I picked a few up. Unfortunately, I didn’t really care for them, I thought they were a bit tough and dry. So, I decided to use them in place of ground beef in a traditional Picadillo recipe. I also knew that throwing everything in my slow cooker would allow everything to slowly come together, causing that tough, dry sirloin to become soft and juicy.
My daughter was less than thrilled when she saw everything going into the slow cooker. She’s truly a meat and potatoes sort of kid. She blew my socks off me when she told me, “Mom, I’m really surprised, but I really like this stuff – even with all of the junk you put in it.” Now, if that isn’t a seal of approval, I don’t know what one is!
I love recipes and leftovers that serve multiple purposes. We’ve only used the Picaillo Beef for Quesadillas so far, but plan on making homemade Chimichangas with it very soon. The leftovers were frozen in small containers that are perfectly size for two quesadillas, tacos, or chimichangas. Now, I have several containers of Picadillo Beef that are ready for whatever we decide to use it for, whenever we decide to use it.
Since I’m the only one who needs to eat gluten free in my house, we have multiple options for tortilla shells. My daughter likes white (wheat) flour tortillas, but LOVES the whole grain (brown) shells. As for me, I either use Udi’s GF shells or corn tortillas. No matter which type of shell I use, they are MUCH, MUCH drier than the wheat tortillas my daughter uses. The Udi’s and corn tortillas both tend to crumble and break, no matter how fresh they are. However, we’ve learned that layering these tortillas between wet paper towels and microwaving between 30 and 45 seconds will prevent the tortillas from breaking. Then we butter the shells and make the quesadillas. Of course, mine go in the skillet first to keep the gluten contact as minimal as possible for me.
- 1 lb lean ground beef or steak
- 1 c. chopped white or yellow onion
- ½ to 1 whole bunch cilantro
- garlic powder
- seasoned salt
- Mrs. Dash
- Tortilla Shells
- Margarine or Butter - optional
- Chop onions, tomatoes, and cilantro. Can be chopped large or small, as desired.
- Season both sides of meat before placing in bottom of slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on high 1½ to 2 hours or on low for 2 to 4 hours. Meat can be placed in slow cooker while still frozen. Additional time may be needed for frozen meat.
- Cook until well done and meat is falling apart tender.
- If ground beef is used, it can be run through a food processor to break apart if needed.
- Remove steaks from the slow cooker and shred with forks or a fork and knife.
- Heat tortilla shells.
- Layering tortillas in between wet paper towels before microwaving for about 30 seconds will help prevent them from breaking when heated in the skillet.
- Butter or margarine can be spread across skillet or spread across the tortilla before heating in a skillet. Yes, I often heat using both methods. The first adds moisture, the second browns the shell, melts the cheese, etc.
- Place the buttered side of the shell face down in the skillet.
- Cover the unbuttered side of the shell with shredded cheese.
- Spread Picadillo Beef on one half of the tortilla.
- Fold in half and remove the quesadilla from the skillet when the cheese has melted.
- Serve with Guacamole, Refried Beans, or Spanish Rice.