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Cuban Elk Picadillo with Cilantro Lime Rice

Cuban Elk Picadillo with Cilantro Lime Rice

Picadillo on top of Spanish rice with a side of salsa, cilantro, and lime served on a white plate.

Elk complements the flavors of this traditional Cuban dish for a simple, quick preparation that is sure to please

Who doesn’t love a recipe that you can make quickly, doesn’t require unusual ingredients, eats well during any season, and adds a simple option to those looking for some diversity in ground venison dishes? I sure learned to appreciate this dish when I got the idea for the recipe from my mother-in-law, who immigrated to the USA from Cuba many years ago. She described to me a traditional Cuban recipe that emphasizes meat as the centerpiece for a dish and just a few key ingredients and spices.

This dish works great with any ground venison meat, but I prepared this meal with my first archery bull elk taken on public land last September in Colorado. After a few years of failed attempts and mistakes, I started to listen to several podcasts including Randy Newberg’s as well as several other conservation-focused groups who put out great content. This changed my perspective on hunting and my approach, and much to my surprise I was able to harvest this elk on my first morning last year with a few techniques I picked up from their episodes. Butchering, packing out and processing this elk entirely on my own brought me uniquely close to this animal, and makes this meat a little more special when preparing and eating it.

My mother-in-law was skeptical about making her special dish from wild game–until she tried it. Now she asks me to make this every time she visits. I love it because I can make it for my family quickly after a long day at work and everyone enjoys it. I hope you enjoy this flavorful dish with your friends and family.

Cuban Elk Picadillo with Cilantro Lime Rice

Alex Krasnec
Elk complements the flavors of this traditional Cuban dish
No ratings yet
Course Main Course
Cuisine Cuban
Servings 4
Calories 593 kcal



  • 1 lb ground venison
  • ½ medium yellow onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • ¼ cup green olives chopped
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 8 oz tomato sauce or 12 oz processed and crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Goya seasoning or other multipurpose seasoning
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh cilantro

Cilantro Lime Rice

  • cups rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp chicken bullion
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil



  • In a skillet, sauté the garlic and onion in 1 tbsp olive oil until onion is translucent, remove and set aside.
  • Brown venison and crumble meat in olive oil.
  • Add back in the onion, garlic and rest of ingredients (except a few pieces fresh cilantro), mix thoroughly.
  • Cover skillet, turn to low heat and steam for 5 minutes.

Cilantro Lime Rice

  • Start rice at same time as the picadillo, they will finish at about the same time.
  • In a pot with a tight fitting lid, add olive oil and rice, mix. Under low heat, warm the rice, stirring frequently for 3 minutes.
  • Add water, and rest of ingredients, mix and bring to a low boil.
  • Turn heat to low, cover, simmer for 20 minutes.


  • Place a layer of rice on plate, scoop picadillo onto rice, garnish with cilantro.


Calories: 593kcalCarbohydrates: 69gProtein: 31gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 662mgPotassium: 782mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 307IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 76mgIron: 6mg
Keyword Elk, Venison
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