Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Eating the Americas: Venezuela

Eating the Americas
I felt like we needed to do a bit of catching up on our Eating the Americas project, because the break we took over the holidays was longer than I'd planned. (Everything seems to take longer than I plan for - is it just me?) So we've tried a couple dishes lately, with mixed results. We've had a recipe fail - I attribute that to user error although I don't know what I did wrong - and a recipe that surprised me by being better received than I would have guessed.

Our surprise success was Pabellon Criollo from Venezuela. This is a common traditional meal in Venezuela, and many would consider this the national dish. I found a couple different versions of the recipe, which is basically shredded beef with vegetables, and tried the one that seemed simplest to me. I found it in the book Venezuela: Enchantment of the World by Terri Willis. I made a few minor adjustments based on what I had on hand.

Pabellon Criollo
2 pounds beef sirloin
1/4 cup oil
2 onions, chopped
salt and pepper
minced garlic
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1-15oz can diced tomatoes (I used seasoned diced tomatoes)

Sear the beef sirloin in oil for about 5 minutes on each side. Then put meat, one chopped onion, and salt and pepper in a large pot. Add enough water to cover and simmer over low heat for about one hour, until the meat is very tender. Remove meat from mixture and allow to cool enough to handle it, then shred with two forks. Saute the other chopped onion, along with minced garlic and red pepper, using a little oil, and seasoning to taste. When the vegetables are soft, stir in the meat and tomatoes. Add enough of the remaining broth to moisten the mixture, and simmer for about 15 minutes. It's suggested to serve it with rice, beans, and plantains. We just had rice.

The hubster genuinely liked this; and the kids all ate it, with one of the boys loaded up a second helping. One boy thought it was a little heavy on the vegetables, and I made sure to leave the onions in big enough chunks so that they could be left behind by those of us that are picky about that sort of thing. All in all, I was happy with how this turned out!

The recipe fail was a sort of fried biscuit. I know I put too much oil in the skillet so I think that was part of the problem, but I feel like I must have done something else wrong as well - maybe too much sugar? - because it really didn't turn out like it was supposed to. Oh well. It's the first time we've had something totally not work, so that's not bad odds!

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Lisa Boyle said...

This looks really good. I have never tried anything like it before. Thanks for linking up with "Try a New Recipe Tuesday." I hope you will be able to join us again this week. http://our4kiddos.blogspot.com/2014/01/try-new-recipe-tuesday-january-28.html

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