Venezuela (S. America) -14 November 2021

Venezuela is located in the continent of South America. It has the Caribbean Sea to the north, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana to the east, Brazil to the southeast and south, Colombia, and Panama to the west.

The capital is Caracas.

The official language is Spanish.

The climate is divided into two seasons: wet, which is from May to October, and dry, which is from November to the end of March. Because the elevation varies so much, there are local differences with the temperature, precipitation, and vegetation.

The staples vary from region to region with influence from the Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, African, and Native Indians. They include corn, rice, plantain, yams, beans, meats, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, eggplants, squashes and zucchini to name but a few (https://beef2live.com/story-venezuelan-cuisine-varies-region-region-0-120922).

https://www.britannica.com/place/Venezuela

VENEZUELAN ASADO NEGRO (https://mommyshomecooking.com/venezuelan-asado-negro/):

  • 3-4 lb. Eye of Round Roast
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 C Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 C vegetable oil (other neutral taste oil such as canola or corn, will work fine)
  • 2 TBSP granulated sugar
  • 1 onion, roughly diced
  • 1 C baby carrots
  • 1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and roughly diced
  • 1 fresh oregano spring (if fresh is not available you can use ½ tsp of dried oregano)
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 C beef stock
  • 1 beef bouillon
  • 1 C red wine (full bodied eg. Cabernet sauvignon or merlot)
  • 1 C Marsala wine
  • ¼ ~ ½ C papelon/panela/pioncillo, cut into small pieces or grates (brown sugar cane)
  1. Prepare the beef: cut off any large, fatty membrane.
  2. Place the beef in a resealable bag and add salt and pepper to taste, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce. Seal and squish around to combine. Place in the refrigerator to marinate at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
  3. When ready to cook remove meat from marinade. Discard marinade.
  4. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan over high heat. When the oil starts to heat, add the sugar in the center of the pan and let it dissolve without stirring. Sear the beef on each side until nicely browned. Transfer beef to the slow cooker.
  5. Add onions, carrots, green pepper, oregano, bay leaves, beef stock, beef bouillon, and wines to the slow cooker.
  6. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
  7. Open the slow cooker and remove the beef. Discard the oregano spring and bay leaves. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes and then place roast on cutting board and slice into   /

-inch thick pieces. Set aside.

Transfer the liquid and veggies to the blender and puree into a smooth sauce – it will change from a dark brown to a lighter brown color. Pour the sauce into a saucepan and bring to simmer over medium heat. Add grated papelon (brown sugar cane), mix well and simmer until the sauce turns a darker brown color and reduces by to a gravy consistency, about 8-10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning (salt and pepper) if necessary. Add the sliced meat and simmer for 10-15 more minutes.

Serve hot with mash potatoes or white rice.

Notes:

STOVE: If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can prepare this recipe in a regular saucepan over the stove. You just need to adjust cooking time accordingly and add more liquid, preferably beef broth. Start with about 3 cups and add more as it evaporates. It can take up to 3-4 hours to get the meat tender.

INSTANT POT/PRESSURE COOKER: Follow the same steps. Cook on high pressure for 40 minutes.

STORE: Let the asado cool completely. Then store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

FREEZE: Let the asado cool completely. Then place it in an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to use defrost in the refrigerator overnight.

REHEAT in a saucepan over medium heat. You can also reheat it in the microwave if you prefer.

Here is my Venezuelan Asado Negro over mashed potatoes. The aroma throughout the house as it slow cooked for 8 hours in the slow cooker was amazing!! The meat was so tender that all I needed was my fork to watch it cut itself almost!

TORTA DE PIÑA (Pineapple Cake) (https://www.recetas-venezolanas.com/recetas/reposteria/torta-de-pina):

  •  C wheat flour
  • 3-1/2 C sugar
  • 1-3/4 C + 1 TBSP butter
  • 10 eggs
  • ½ C concentrated pineapple juice
  • 1 can pineapple slices in syrup
  • Maraschino cherries
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • Vanilla
  1. Mix the concentrated pineapple juice with the syrup from the sliced can.
  2. Beat the butter with 2-1/2 C sugar until it is creamy.
  3. Add the egg yolks, the juice, the vanilla and the flour mixed with the baking powder.
  4. Finally, add the beaten egg whites until stiff.
  5. Prepare a caramel with 1 cup of sugar and ½ cup of water in the source where the cake will be baked.
  6. Place the pineapple slices in the bottom of the pan and the maraschino cherries in the slice hole.
  7. Pour in the cake mix and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until cooked through.
  8. Remove from the oven and let it rest.
  9. Flip the cake.
Here is my Torta de Piña. Next time I will use more pineapple slices, but this tasted so great!!

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