Picadillo (Hash) at the Flores Family's El Charro Cafe

Total Time
Prep 30 mins
Cook 20 mins

This is a traditional dish for a Mexican wedding. Use Spanish green olives in this recipe. Ketchup sweetens Picadillo; so, if the apples are tart, you might choose to add a little. To "slowest choppers in the Western Hemisphere", I recommend preparing the following the day before: garlic, onion, celery, olives. I stored the garlic and onion in vinegar overnight. The raisins and ketchup/water/sugar mixtures prepare quickly. The potato and apple should be saved for last, since they will turn color. With no specified amount of cinnamon, I used about 1 teaspoon, and it was noticeable but not overpowering. I like garlic, but the garlic was not overpowering at all, it was just go-ooo-d!. It has a sweet and sour aspect. I was wary of this dish as it was labelled "hash". So I prepared Italian Meat Loaf from BH&G in case DH was disappointed in the Picadillo. I called it the match between Italian and Mexican cuisines in the ground beef category. The Italian meat loaf was excellent, so I was really shocked that DH preferred this Picadillo. The recipe came from "The Flores Family's El Charro Cafe Cookbook."

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat a skillet and add the salt, water, and ground beef.
  2. Stir and separate the beef, and brown it quickly.
  3. Mix ketchup with water in equal proportions.
  4. Add the garlic puree, onion, potato, celery, tomato, raisins, vinegar, ketchup/water mixture, olives, sugar, cinnamon, and apples.
  5. Cook until flavors blend, about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Makes 6-8 servings.
Most Helpful

I completely missed that the recipe called for TWO pounds of ground meat when I decided to make it. I proceeded with one pound however since I had dinner planned and everything else ready on the counter. The recipe turned out with a good ratio of meat to veggies so I was happy after all and will stay with the one pound. This recipe doesn't have the depth & contrasts of flavors of my favorite picadillo recipe, but I would make it again. It's fast and easy enough for a meal on a busy night & my family liked the addition of the potatoes. Do use the optional catsup. It's fairly vital to the flavor profile. I used yukon gold potatoes & cooked in the microwave to speed things along. Served with Blue Mesa Cornbread and a salad. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

Susie D August 04, 2012

This was delicious and everyone loved it. I used tortillas to eat it with.

MarraMamba May 19, 2014

This dish sure stretched two pounds of ground beef a long way. It was a surprise that it was sweet and tart. I served it with classic Southern cornbread. I am going to enjoy the leftovers for lunch. I suspect it will taste even better the following day.

Miss Fannie April 24, 2013