Carne mechad (larded meat)

One of the culinary delights of Venezuelan gastronomy is carne mechada. If you have yet to try it, what are you waiting for? If you've already eaten this delicious stew, you'll surely want to learn how to make it - it's perfect to offer your guests!

Recipe for carne mechada

Carne mechada is a Venezuelan recipe that requires a little patience. It's a little laborious to prepare, but it's worth it, and even the most demanding palates will love it!


  • One kilo of veal skirt steak.
  • One large onion.
  • Two tomatoes.
  • One can of fried tomato (approximately 100 grams).
  • Two cloves of garlic.
  • One small red pepper.
  • Worcestershire sauce.
  • Extra virgin olive oil.
  • cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper.


  • Clean the meat very well, removing any remaining fat.
  • Remove the beef brisket from the fridge a couple of hours before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature.
  • Leave the meat to marinate for two hours. For the marinade, place the brisket on a sufficiently large platter with extra virgin olive oil, half a chopped onion, two cloves of sliced or finely chopped garlic, and plenty of Worcestershire sauce.
  • Marinating the meat allows it to tenderize and gain flavor and juicy texture.
  • Drizzle the meat with the marinade sauce from time to time. You should marinate the meat for at least one hour.
  • Tenderize the meat so that it can be trimmed. The traditional way to do this is to place the meat in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes, accompanied by marinade juice, a pinch of salt, and freshly ground black pepper. If you do not have a pressure cooker, you can use a conventional pot, but the process will take about an hour.
  • After the time has elapsed, remove the meat from the heat and set it aside to cool so you can handle it. Do not discard the marinade stock, as you will use it later.
  • Chop the rest of the ingredients while the meat is cooling. You will need to finely dice the onion and the tomatoes and red pepper.
  • Shred the meat in the direction of the meat fibers; shredding means separating the meat into strands; you should do this once the meat is cold or warm and you can handle it without burning yourself.
  • Keep the strands as thin as possible, making the results different.
  • Pour a splash of extra virgin olive oil into a large enough pan. Heat the oil over medium heat, but do not let it burn.
  • When it is hot, add the onions and pepper to make a stir-fry.
  • When the onion is transparent, add the tomato and stir.
  • Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with a bit of cumin.
  • It is time to add the meat two minutes after adding the tomato.
  • Stir to mix all the ingredients.
  • Leave on the heat for five minutes, but do not stop stirring.
  • Taste the meat and adjust the salt, pepper, or cumin.
  • Add the fried tomato and a cup of the stock from the meat marinade.
  • Wait a few minutes until the tomato thickens.
  • You can add a little more of the marinade broth if necessary.
  • The key to a good carne mechada is the seasoning of the meat. You will have to rectify now and then until you get that characteristic flavor of the essence.

How do you eat carne mechada?

You are probably wondering how to eat carne mechada. Can it be eaten on its own? Does it come with any other stew? The most traditional way to eat this Venezuelan delicacy is in the traditional and very delicious pabellón criollo. It is also possible to serve shredded meat in the famous and delicious Venezuelan arepas.

The pabellón criollo is a complete dish consisting of rice, beans, fried plantain and avocado, and of course, the delicious carne mechada. The pabellón criollo is a typical Venezuelan dish, and we invite you to try it if you have ever made carne mechada. The pabellón criollo ingredients taste different from the meat stewed in this style.

Prepare the white rice as well as the beans separately. You can also buy cooked beans and only need to heat them a little. The fried plantain must be unique for this culinary technique; the fresh avocado, on the other hand, is placed in slices on top of the pavilion once assembled.

Arepas are a kind of traditional Venezuelan bread and are usually filled with shredded meat - they are a real delicacy! In this country, arepas are used for both lunch and breakfast. You can use them to fill them with carne mechada, but you can also serve them with pabellón criollo.

A delicious traditional Venezuelan delicacy cannot be complete if you don't serve tequeños (fried cheese sticks) to your guests as a starter.

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