Having grown up in Venezuela one of the most common dishes we would eat at friends house would be the typical dish, Pabellon Criollo. This dish is made up of the following items: (along with a little Spanish lesson)
Caraotas Negras (Black Beans)
Tajadas (Sliced Cooking Banana)
Carne Mechada (shredded beef)
(Some people also serve arepas on the side with a slice of queso blanco (white cheese)
Let me give you a quick and easy recipe for each item, So you can make this delicious meal for you and your family.
2 cups of white rice
4 cups of water
In a pot put 2 cups of rice & 4 cups of water. Add a few pinches of salt (to taste). Let the rice come to a boil and let it boil until the majority of the water has evaporated. Cover with a lid and turn the burner down to the lowest setting. Let the rice finish cooking for about 10 – 15 minutes on low heat, and you will be left with fluffy rice.
Caraotas Negras (Black Beans)
2 cans of Black Beans
2 slices of smoked bacon
In a small pot, add the 2 cans of Black Beans. Add water to one of the cans and add the water the pot as well. Take the smoked bacon and chopped into very small peices and add it to the pot. Sprinkle cumin & salt to taste. (Remember, less is more. You can always add more spices towards the end. You can’t take away once it’s already been added) Bring the pot to a boil. Let them boil for about 10 minutes. COver and lower the heat to a simmer. Let them simmer until you like the texture of the beans. It normally takes about another 10 minutes before they ready.
Carne Mechada (Shredded Beef)
1 small roast
1 large tomato
1 medium white onion
4 large cloves of garlic
3 tbsps of parsley
In a crock-pot add the the small roast and 4 minced garlic cloves. Cover the roast half way with water so that the juices can make the meat nice and moist. Add parsley and salt to taste on top. Put on high or medium for 5-6 hours depending on how your fast your crock-pot cooks. (If you are not comfortable with cooking in a crock-pot, you may do the same thing on the stove. Add all the ingredients to a large pot. Boil for at least 1 hour, and then lower the burner to a medium heat.) You are looking to get the roast to the point where the meat is just falling apart.
Once the meat is cooked through, let it cool for a little bit as you are going to have to shred the meat. Once all the meat has been shredded, add 2 large diced tomatos, 1 medium diced onion and the shredded meat to a large skillet. Cook on high heat for about 10 minutes. Make sure you do not let the mixture burn. Lower the heat to the lowest setting. Let it continue to cook for another 10 –15 minutes.
Tajadas/Platano (Plantains/Cooking Banana)
1 large plantain
Oil (your choice)
The last item of this meal is the plantain. Take a ripe (yellow) plantain and peel the skin off. Slice it into medium sized slices. In a pan barely cover the bottom with oil. Make sure the oil is hot before adding the slices of plantain. Cook each side of the slice until it turns a bright yellow.
Well, hopefully you will take the time to make this recipe for your family! If you are up for trying something that’s yummy, this would be your recipe to try!! Let me know what you think of it…
Photo By: latatisabel
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