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Pabellón Criollo (Venezuelan National Dish)

Pabellon Criollo
Pabellón Criollo

This recipe is very filling, contains a great amount of carbohydrate, but it is super delicious. The various components of this dish will make your heart sing and your belly... Oh well, let’s just say you will need a nap afterwards...

Are you ready? ... Let’s do this!

This recipe feeds 4 to 6 people, depending on the portions.


Vegetable oil, for sautéing and frying the plantain.

1/2 cup of butter.

250 kg. of beef sirloin or flank steak.

2 Big yellow onions (chopped)

Salt & pepper to taste.

1 red bell pepper (chopped).

1 green bell pepper (chopped).

4 cloves of garlic (mashed).

3 cups of tomatos (peeled, seeded and chopped).

4 cups of uncooked black beans (to save you some time canned can also be used* see tips).

2 cups of uncooked white rice.

2 ripe plantains.

1 tablespoon of brown sugar (ohh Yeah!!! SURPRISE!!!)

Directions for the beef stew:

1. In a pressure cooker, place the meat and cover with water. Cook for 30 minutes or until really soft. Cook it enough for you to be able to pull the meat apart.

2. In another pan, pour 1 tablespoon of oil and 2 tablespoons of butter, sauté 1 big yellow onion and red bell pepper.

3. Add into the sautéed onion and pepper the pulled meat and the tomato, salt and black pepper to taste, simmer on medium-high heat, uncovered for 40 minutes. It should be a thick stew, not much liquid.

Directions for black beans stew:

1. In a pressure cooker, place black beans and cover with water. Cook for 30 minutes, the beans should be cooked but it should still hold some firmness. They will cook a bit more later on in the stew.

2. In another pan, pour 1 tablespoon of oil and 2 tablespoons of butter, sauté 1 big onion and green bell pepper.

3. Toss in the cooked black beans, salt and black pepper cover with water and bring to boil, lower heat to low and simmer uncovered until thickened (approx. 30 to 45 minutes), before turning the heat off sprinkle the tablespoon of brown sugar, stir and cover, let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Directions for rice and plantains:

1. Rinse and drain the 4 cups of rice. Toss in a pan, add salt to taste. Add 3 1/2 cups of water. Bring it to boil on high heat, turn heat to low and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Let it rest covered for 10 minutes before serving.

2. Peel and slice plantains. In a frying pan pour the vegetable oil, bring the oil to 170 degrees (Celsius). Fry the slices of plantain, each side 3 minutes approx.


1. I think that if you follow the directions in the same order I wrote it, it will make it easier. This dish is time consuming.

2. Cooking the beef a day in advance is a big plus, so it is soaking the beans.

3. If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer in your kitchen, go get one! Just kidding, there’s a trick to know if the oil is ready to take some plantains, place your hand above the pan, carefully (4 cm above the oil) count slowly till five, if you can’t resist the heat, it is ready for frying.

4. If you are avoiding red meats, substitute the meat stew for fish, it will be just as delicious. A suggestion: Tuna.

5. Wanna bring a little something to the black bean stew? When sautéing the onion and the green pepper add a 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seed, it will bring it to another level.

6. Want to save some cooking time, you can also use 4 cups of canned beans, then skip step 1 from the bean stew direction and reduce the time in step 3 to 20-25 minutes.


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