V is for Venezuela: Pabellon Criollo (Shredded Beef & Black Beans) {Gluten Free}

Venezuelan Pabellon Criollo might just be my favorite edition of Cooking Around the World!

Venezuelan Pabellon Criollo might just be my favorite edition of Cooking Around the World!

Cooking Around the World is officially winding down.  We only have four countries left!!  I have to say, though, we were absolutely thrilled with Venezuela.  I hadn’t had a country from the Americas since Ecuador, and while I’d been enjoying my string of Middle Eastern cuisine, it was nice to have something completely different.

This meal was so flavorful, and surprisingly pretty!

This meal was so flavorful, and surprisingly pretty!

Of all of the meals I have made in this project, I think this may have had the boldest flavors.  The beef (with surprise ingredient soy sauce) was fantastic.  It was a little bit tangy without being overwhelming, and was balanced out by the rice.  And the black beans were different from the typical Mexican beans I make.  I’ll admit I was a bit concerned when I first started cooking (the sofrito was the base for both the beef and the beans, and I was afraid everything would taste the same), but my fears were unfounded.  The unique spices that went into each element of the dish made for distinct components that all just melded together perfectly!  Honestly, if I had to describe this meal stripped down of culinary vocabulary, I would say it’s a Chipotle bowl that’s been kicked up.  And if you know me, you know that’s a huge compliment!

Now, I’ll admit I didn’t follow the directions exactly.  First, I subbed in jalapenos for the habaneros.  The reasoning was twofold: one, I had jalapenos in my fridge that needed to be used; two, habaneros scare me.  Also, I baked the plantains instead of frying them.  Since my stove only has four burners, something needed to give, and that was the tostones.  They were deliciously salty and almost like french fries when they came out of the oven, though, so I don’t think this shortcut was too offensive.  Lastly, I just made plain old white rice.  As you’ll notice looking at the recipe, it’s quite involved and time consuming.  I got tired and lazy and just didn’t feel like putting that much more effort into dinner.  Oh well.

I think I’ve made it abundantly clear, but we loved this dinner.  Venezuela, you get an A+ for your national dish!

Venezuelan Pabellón Criollo (Shredded Beef with Black Beans)

Adapted from https://venezuelancooking.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/recipe-pabellon-criollo/

The shredded beef had soy sauce in it!  I was so surprised, but it was really good!

The shredded beef had soy sauce in it! I was so surprised, but it was really good!

Ingredients

  • For the Beef
    • 1 lb boneless chuck roast
    • 1 stalk celery
    • ½ onion
    • ½ bell pepper
    • Salt to taste
    • 1 tsp dried parsley
    • 1 tsp dried cilantro
    • Water, to cover beef
    • Sofrito (2/3 recipe)
    • 2 cups reserved cooking liquid
    • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
    • Black pepper, to taste
    • 1 tsp dried cilantro
    • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • These black beans are a little bit spicy, and a lot a bit tasty.

    These black beans are a little bit spicy, and a lot a bit tasty.

    For the Beans

    • 1 cup dried beans, soaked for 8-12 hours
    • 5 cups water
    • ½ bell pepper, diced
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 2 tsp cumin
    • Sofrito (1/3 recipe)
  • Sofrito
    • 1 ½ onions, diced
    • 2 jalapenos, diced
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • Olive Oil

Directions

  1. In a large pot, place beef, onion, celery, salt, parsley, and cilantro. Cover with water. Cook, covered, on medium heat for 3 – 4 hours, until the beef is cooked and tender. Remove beef to a large bowl, and set aside 2 cups of cooking liquid. You can either discard the rest of the liquid, or save for future use.
  2. When the beef is adequately cooled, shred using two forks.
  3. In a medium pot, cook the beans in five cups of water with the diced bell pepper. Cook, covered, for about an hour and a half.
  4. To make the sofrito, using a large sauce pan, sauté together the onions and jalapenos in olive oil until the onions are translucent. Add in the garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  5. Transfer 1/3 of the sofrito mixture into the black beans, along with the salt and cumin. Stir until incorporated, and continue to cook until the liquid has evaporated.
  6. Place the shredded beef into the sauce pan with the remaining sofrito. Sauté together for about three minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, black pepper, cilantro, and soy sauce, along with about a cup of the reserved cooking liquid. Cook for fifteen – twenty minutes more, until the liquid is reduced.
  7. Serve hot, with white rice and baked plantains (tostones).
Just look at those plantains!  So yummy!

Just look at those plantains! So yummy!

This is a long, involved recipe, so I’ve put together the following time table so all of your food is ready at the same time (or at least, darn close to it). The target serving time in this example is 7:00, but you can easily adjust this for whatever works for you.

2:00 – Cook beef on stove

5:00 – Cook beans on stove

5:30 – Check beef; once it is cooled enough, shred

6:30 – Preheat oven to 425 for tostones

Microwave prepared plantain

Sauté sofrito together

6:40 – Slice plantain and place in oven

Start cooking rice

Add salt, sofrito, and cumin to beans

Add beef to sofrito, sauté for 3 minutes

6:45 – Add tomatoes, cilantro, black pepper, soy sauce, and stock to beef

7:00 – Serve Dinner

Venezuelan Pabellon Criollo features shredded beef, black beans, fried plantains, and white rice.  It's like a Chipotle Burrito Bowl only so much better!

Venezuelan Pabellon Criollo features shredded beef, black beans, fried plantains, and white rice. It’s like a Chipotle Burrito Bowl only so much better!

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3 thoughts on “V is for Venezuela: Pabellon Criollo (Shredded Beef & Black Beans) {Gluten Free}

  1. Dear Becky,

    I just read your post on Venezuelan Pabellón Criollo. First of all, thank you for picking my recipe for your “V” in Around the World in 26* Meals. The project itself seems very fun and ambitious, congratulations on that. I am glad you enjoyed the recipe and committed to the time it takes to make a Pabellón Criollo Venezolano. I don’t take offense to your shortcuts, I actually think a lot of people have to take shortcuts when making this recipe, even Venezuelans do. Some of us make the beef the day before. Some other people also use a slow cooker for the beef as well. Thank you for including Venezuela in your list, and I am flattered that you picked my recipe out of all the ones out there. I hope it lived up to your expectations. I encourage you to make Venezuelan Arepas one day, since more than the national dish, it is like a staple, Venezuelans on average eat about one arepa at least per day… plus they are a lot easier and quicker to make 😉

    Thanks again,

    Melissa
    VenezuelanCooking.WordPress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award | herbs and spice and other things nice

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