Muffins recipes

National dish of Venezuela

flag of Venezuela

  • Independence: 20. 12. 1999
  • Capital: Caracas
  • Official language: Spanish
  • Population: 28 946 101
  • Area: 916 445 km2
  • International code: VE
  • Currency: Bolívar fuerte (VEF)
map of Venezuela

Pabellón criollo


  • 2 lb. flank steak; cut in 3 or 4 pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 cups beef stock; or more to cover
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion; coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic; minced
  • 4 medium tomatoes; peeled, seeded, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds; crushed
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 8 cups cooked white long grain rice; see recipe
  • 6 cups cooked black beans
  • 2 medium plaintains; a little firm
  • 2 tablespoon safflower oil
Pabellón criollo is national food (dish) of Venezuela


Simmer the meat and the bay leaf in the stock for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is nice and tender. Allow the meat to cool in the stock. When cool, remove from the stock, shred, and set aside. In the olive oil, sauté the onion until it is soft. Add the garlic, tomatoes, salt, pepper, cumin, and oregano and continue to cook over low heat until the mix is quite dry. Add the shredded meat and correct the seasoning. Cut the plantain into 3 inch pieces and sauté them in the safflower oil over medium heat until they are lightly browned all over. Drain them on paper towels. Assemble the dish in the design of the Venezualan flag, arrange the beef, rice, and beans on a rectangular platter in three rows with the rice in the center. Garnish with sautéed plantains. Some versions of this dish are topped with fried eggs, one per dish.


Pabellón criollo is a traditional Venezuelan dish, the local version of the rice and beans combination found throughout the Caribbean. It is a plate of rice, shredded beef and stewed black beans that is considered by many to be the Venezuelan national dish. Common additions include tajadas (fried plantain slices) or a fried egg. Both of these variants have acquired slang names. A pabellón con barandas (baranda is Spanish for guard rail) is served with tajadas because the long plantain slices placed on the sides are humorously considered to be keeping the food from falling off from the plate. A pabellón a caballo (a caballo is Spanish for horseback riding) means with a fried egg on top, as though the egg were "riding" the dish. Most waiters understand immediately what is meant by Pabellón con barandas y a caballo. The shredded beef can be replaced by chigüire (capybara), caiman shredded meat or even freshwater fish, depending on particular tastes, region or time of the year (beef consumption is prohibited by the Roman Catholic Church during Lent, however capybara and fish are approved).

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