Picadillo is one of the earliest examples of fusion cuisine, tying in Latin American flavours with Filipino staples.






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (38 votes)


  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 large red capsicum, seeded and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • ⅛ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp (heaped) tomato paste
  • 500 g minced beef
  • Splash dry white wine
  • 200 g tomato passata
  • 50 g sultanas
  • 50 g pimento stuffed green olives (or other green olives, pitted), cut in half
  • To serve, steamed white rice, sweet platano maduro or tostones

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, capsicum garlic, bay leaves and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring regularly for 15 minutes or until softened. You may need to reduce the heat to low if the onion starts to brown.
  2. Add the spices and tomato paste and stir to combine.  Add the minced meat, season generously and cook, breaking up the lumps with a spoon.  You are not trying to brown the meat, just cook it through. Add the splash of white wine and cook for 1 minute, then stir in the tomato passata and 200 ml water. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the sultanas and olives and cook, uncovered for another 5 minutes or until thickened. 
  3. Serve with steamed white rice and either sweet "platano maduro” or tostones.  


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.


Photography by Danielle Abou Karam.