Carne Mechada is a Venezuelan dish made using shredded beef, spices, vegetables, and cumin. Interestingly, Carne Mechada is similar to the famous shredded beef dish from Cuba known as Ropa Vieja. Moreover, in Venezuela, the word mechar, from which the word Mechada is derived, simply means to separate into strands. Therefore, the name refers to the action of shredding the beef into many hair-like strands.
What’s more, Carne Mechada is the national dish of Venezuela. Importantly, in its most basic form, Carne Mechada is made of shredded beef, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and spice. Interestingly, as the tomato sauce slowly cooks, it brings out the beautiful savory, smoky, and sweet flavors of the tenderized beef. Undoubtedly, this is a dish you should have in your culinary tool belt.
That being said, this article will serve as a guide for cooking Carne Mechada in your home from start to finish. Keep in mind, the recipe in this article is for 4 servings of Carne Mechada. Moreover, this dish takes a total of around 3 hours and 45 minutes to prepare.
Ingredients for Carne Mechada
Listed below are the ingredients you will need to prepare Carne Mechada at home.
- 2 pound top round roast cut in two halves
- 1 large quartered onion
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large diced onion
- 1 large chopped green bell pepper
- 3 medium-sized minced garlic cloves
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 6 ounces of tomato paste
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- OPTIONAL: Tortillas and/or cooked rice for serving
Cooking Directions for Carne Mechada
Firstly, place the top round roast beef along with the quartered onion in a large saucepot or a dutch oven. Next, fill the pot with enough water to completely cover the meat. To cook, gradually bring the water to a boil over medium to high heat.
Next, cover the pot with boiling water and reduce the heat to medium-low. Importantly, you must allow the water to continue simmering with the pot covered for about 3 hours.
Next, remove the beef and place it on a large plate. Afterward, use two forks to shred the beef and continue doing so until all of the beef is in the form of strands. Next, set aside about two cups of the cooking liquid. You will need this later. Afterward, discard both the onion and the remaining liquid from the pot.
Next, heat the olive oil in the now-empty pot over medium to high heat. Afterward, add the diced onion and allow it to cook in olive oil by stirring every two minutes or so.
Next, add the bell pepper, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper to the pot. To combine, stir every two minutes or so and allow to cook.
Next, stir the tomato paste into the mixture and add the Worcestershire sauce. Afterward, continue cooking for about one minute over medium to high heat until the paste has browned.
Next, add to the pan the shredded beef along with the reserved liquid from step three. To cook, stir the entire mixture gently and bring the liquid to a boil.
Next, reduce the heat to a low setting and allow the mixture to simmer for 20 minutes or so in an uncovered pot. To cook, allow it to simmer until the liquid has almost entirely evaporated. Lastly, season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Finally, serve your Carne Mechada over rice or wrapped in warm tortillas. Furthermore, you can even use the Carne Mechada as a stuffing in arepas or empanadas.
To conclude, if you are someone who loves spicy foods from around the world, this famous Venezuelan shredded beef dish is a must-try. As we have seen, Carne Mechada is a wonderfully flavorful dish that will have your taste buds wanting more every time. Finally, not only is Carne Mechada easy to make, it can serve as a great way to entertain your foodie family and friends.
Finally, are you looking for some more delicious recipes? Click here for a recipe for an amazing Cheesy Garlic Pizza with Basil.