(Venezuelan shredded beef with beans, rice and plantains)
Pabellón criollo is the quintessential Venezuelan meal. The various components of the dish are a balance of flavors and colors that make a Venezuelan's heart sing: shredded beef, simmered black beans, fried plantains and hot rice. Sometimes a fried egg is thrown on the top for good measure.
4 to 6 servings
- Oil -- 1/4 cup
- Beef sirloin or flank steak -- 2 pounds
- Onion, chopped -- 1
- Salt -- 2 teaspoons
- Pepper -- 1 teaspoon
- Water -- to cover
- Onion, finely chopped -- 1
- Red bell pepper, finely chopped -- 1
- Garlic, minced -- 3-4 cloves
- Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped -- 2 to 3 cups
- Salt and pepper -- to taste
- Cooked black beans -- 1 recipe
- Cooked white rice -- 4 cups
- Fried plantains -- 1 recipe
- Heat the oil in in a skillet over medium-high flame. Sear the meat on both sides to brown well, about 4 or 5 minutes per side.
- Remove from heat and place the meat in a large pot with the chopped onion, salt, pepper and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until meat is very tender.
- Remove the meat from the pot and set aside to cool, reserving the broth. When cool, shred the meat with your fingers or two forks.
- Reheat the skillet, adding more oil if necessary. Add the finely chopped onion, peppers and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent.
- Stir in the shredded meat, chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper. Add a little of the reserved broth to moisten and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Serve with black beans, white rice a couple of fried plantains.
Pabellón Criollo Variations
- Pabellón a Caballo: Serve with a fried egg on top.
- During Lent, when eating meat is avoided, pabellón criollo is sometimes made with fish, caiman or even capybara (chigüire), a large rodent that has been classified by the Catholic Church as a fish.
- A little cumin seed can be added to the sauteing onions and peppers if you like.