Venezuelan Shredded Beef Carne Mechada


This Venezuelan shredded beef recipe is made by cooking flank or skirt steak very slowly. We are going to sear it and then boil it for a couple of hours.

After it is shredded we will finish it in an onion, scallion and bell pepper sofrito with some of the broth. The final result will be juicy and delicious beef that you can serve with rice, beans and plantain or in an arepa – a cornmeal pocket that you can learn to make by clicking here.

I recommend that you use flank or skirt for this recipe as it will shred beautifully for you. If you cannot find it you can use chuck roast. Brisket is another great option as well.

You will notice that one of the steps in this recipe involves making an oil with annatto seeds. Please do not worry if you cannot find these or do not want to buy them only for this recipe. Simply use regular oil. However, if you do decide to make this you will be able to keep it for a long time in a closed jar in the fridge. Simply replace the oil as you use it. You will know when it is time to replace the seeds because they will lose their color.

This is what you are going to need for this delicious and tender Venezuelan shredded beef:

Serves six

1.5 lbs. (700 grams) of flank or skirt steak
4 cups water
2 smashed garlic cloves
2 small pieces of onion
1 small jalapeño — halved (optional)
Thyme sprigs
Salt and Pepper

Rinse and pat dry the steak. Season it generously with salt, pepper and cumin on both sides.

Heat a large, deep skillet with some oil and brown the beef evenly on both sides.

Add the water to the pan with the garlic, onion, jalapeño if using and thyme. Season the water with salt and pepper. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook the meat for about two hours until you can separate it with a fork.

Remove the meat from the broth and shred it. Do not throw away the broth. Strain it and keep it for future use. We will need some to finish the recipe.

110 grams annatto seeds

Place the seeds in a jar and cover them with oil. Cover the jar and keep it in the fridge. Keep on adding oil to it until you no longer have any color. At this point change the seeds.

This step is optional. If you do not want to purchase annatto seeds don’t. Simply use regular oil to finish the recipe.

2 to 3 TBS annatto or regular oil
½ large onion – coarsely chopped
6 scallions – white, light green and dark green parts chopped
1 small red bell pepper – coarsely chopped

Heat the oil in a skillet and add the onion, scallion and bell pepper. Add some more oil if it dries up.

Cook the vegetables until they soften and the onion is translucent – about 8 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add the shredded beef and a cup of the broth. Allow the broth to simmer until it is all gone. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust accordingly.

Serve the beef with rice and beans or inside an empanada or inside an arepa. Enjoy!

Print the Recipe Here

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