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Venezuelan Pabellón Criollo Recipe

Venezuelan Pabellón Criollo Recipe

Pabellón Criollo is a hearty Venezuelan dish made from shredded beef, black beans, rice and plantains. It is also occasionally topped with a fried egg or served with chopped up avocado on the side.

Pabellón Criollo is the national dish of Venezuela and is often served at special occasions such as family gatherings, weddings and holidays.

The dish is prepared by slowly boiling beef to make it rich and tender before shredding it. Another component of this dish is black beans; a staple food in Venezuelan cuisine, these are native to Latin America and a very versatile ingredient.

Plantain is usually served as a side of pabellón crillo. This should be sliced and fried to add a crispy texture to the dish.

Origin & Cultural Significance 

The dish is thought to have originated during the colonial period, when African slaves were brought to Venezuela and introduced new ingredients and cooking techniques. Over time, pabellón criollo became a popular street food and is now considered a very special dish.

The recipe for can vary slightly depending on the region of Venezuela it is made in. In the Andean region, for example, it is often served with arepas instead of rice.

In coastal regions of Venezuela, seafood may be added to the dish, however the core components remain the same. Similar dishes can also be found in other cuisines, such as the Costa Rican gallo pinto.

Pabellón Criollo

Venezuelan Pabellon Criollo Recipe

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes

Pabellón Criollo is a hearty and flavorful dish made from shredded beef, black beans, rice, and plantains.


  • Flank steak beef - 1 lb
  • Onion (diced) - 1
  • Green bell pepper (diced) - 1
  • Garlic (minced) - 3 cloves
  • Olive oil - 2 tbsp
  • Black beans (drained and rinsed) - 1 can
  • Tomato paste - 2 tbsp
  • Ground cumin - 1 tsp
  • Beef stock - 1 cube
  • Salt and pepper - to taste
  • Plantains (peeled and sliced) - 4
  • White rice - 2 cups


  1. Season the beef with salt and pepper. 
  2. In a large pot, bring water to boil on high heat and dissolve a stock cube.
  3. Add the beef to the boiling water, reduce the head and allow to simmer for 3-4 hours, until the meat is soft and tender.
  4. In a skillet, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion, green pepper, and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the black beans, tomato paste, cumin, salt, and pepper to the skillet, stir to combine and cook for 10 minutes, or until they are soft. Set aside and cover.
  6. Cook the rice in a separate pot, as per the cooking instructions on the packaging and set aside.
  7. Once it has finished simmering, shred the beef with a fork.
  8. In a separate skillet, heat some oil over medium-high heat. 
  9. Add the plantains and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  10. To serve, place a scoop of rice on a plate and top with the beef and black bean mixture. Add a few slices of plantain on the side. Repeat this with the remaining plates and serve hot.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 634Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 240mgCarbohydrates: 115gFiber: 11gSugar: 37gProtein: 22g

Nutrition is provided and calculated by Nutritionix. It is for general information purposes and is only a rough estimation.

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