One of my favorite Venezuelan recipes is by far Carne Mechada or Shredded Beef. My mother is an expert at making this and used to make it for me at least once a week!! Carne mechada is also a main component of our National Dish, Pabellon Criollo, which has shredded beef, white rice, black beans and fried plantains!
I always left the Carne mechada cooking to my mum, but since moving to the US, I have had to learn how to cook it.
You can enjoy this dish with rice or with Arepas (see Arepas recipe here)
Ingredients (Serves 4):
- Beef (Skirt Steak Cut) - 1/2 pound
- Red Pepper - 1 medium
- Onions - 1 Big
- Garlic - 3 cloves or (6 cloves of Roasted Garlic - see recipe here)
- Tomato sauce (small can - 8 oz or less)
- Worcester Sauce - to taste
- Adobo (1 tbsp - to taste)
- Cumin (1 tsp or more to taste)
- Coriander - optional but highly recommended
- PAM Cooking Spray
In a pan, put the beef to boil with a pinch of salt and half of the onion. Let it boil until the beef is so tender it comes off with a fork, normally about 1 hour or so.
In the meantime, dice the rest of the onion and pepper into small pieces. Chop the coriander small too. Keep aside.
Once the beef is ready, remove the beef and the half onion from the broth (keep the broth - it is the best base for French Onion Soup).
Take the onion and roasted garlic and puree them with your fork.
Add the shredded beef to the sofrito and the onion/garlic puree, and keep frying.
Then add the tomato sauce a little big at a time until you get the consistency required (some people like it more dry than others!) I made this one quite wet this time.
Now add your condiments to taste: Adobo, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, salt and pepper (I do not use salt as I think Adobo is salty enough) - If you like spicy food you may add a touch of Tabasco.
Your yummy shredded beef is ready!!! Enjoy.