Within the Caribbean the rice, meat, bean and plantain combination is quite popular hence you have the Bandeja Paisa from Columbia, Casado from Costa Rica, La Bandera Dominicana from Dominican Republic and this Pabellon Criollo from Venezuela. This dish even influenced Philippines hence we have something similar called Arroz ala Cubana.
Pabellón criollo like I mentioned above is a combination rice and beans but what sets it apart from the others is the meat dish that accompanies it where it is made up of pulled beef flavoured with peppers, tomatoes and sometimes cumin. At its most basic form this dish is only served with rice, beans and the meat but common additions are fried plantain slices called “tajadas” and/or a fried egg.
It’s quite a really good dish, the pulled beef gives me that same satisfaction when I eat my favourite corned beef brand called Palm, as long as you use a fatty brisket I guess the texture and the greasiness gives it that same satisfaction I get form the canned beef. As a whole the combination of everything from rice, beans, plantains, meat and sometimes egg might be confusing but it just works well together that is why I think the Caribbean have embraced this platter ever since it was invented.
- 3-4 pcs plantains or 4-5 pcs saba/cardaba bananas
- 2 x 400g can black beans, drained
- 4 pcs streaky bacon, chopped
- ½ cup beef stock
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 onion
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp cumin
- quezo fresco or feta cheese
- 1 kg beef brisket (with a good amount of fat on it), cubed
- ½ red capsicum / bell pepper, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 pc bay leaf
- freshly ground black pepper
- Slice each plantain lengthwise into 3 to 4 portions each.
- Heat pan with oil then pan fry plantains until golden brown on each side. Remove from pan then set aside.
- In a small pot add oil then sauté garlic and onions in low heat. Cook until onions turn soft.
- Add bacon and cook for 2 minutes, it does not need to be crispy.
- Pour beef stock, black pepper and cumin bring to a boil simmer for 5 minutes then add the black beans. Continue to simmer for 2 minutes, season with salt then turn heat off then set it aside.
- Season beef with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- In a pot add oil then brown beef on all sides. Once browned remove beef then set it aside.
- using the same pot add oil if necessary then sauté garlic and onion for 2 minutes.
- Add the tomato and cumin, cook until tomatoes becomes soft.
- Put the beef back into the pot then add the bell pepper and bay leaf. Pour enough water to cover the meat. Bring it to a boil then simmer in low heat for 2 hours or until meat is fork tender, can easily flake and liquid is almost dried. You may need to add a bit of water during the cooking process. Pull meat apart then season with salt.
- Place a cup of rice on each plate, 3 to 4 slices of fried plantains, a hefty scoop of beans and pulled meat. Top black beans with crumbed quezo fresco then serve.