Father´s Day is almost here. Still haven´t figured out how to surprise him? Relax, don´t panic. I´m going to give you an idea that is to die for! Asado negro (dark roast)! A delicious staple of Venezuelan cuisine made with beef requiring slow cooking in order for the meat to be very juicy and tender, coated with a sweet dark sauce filled with flavor and irresistible aroma. In my country, there are many versions of the recipe I want to share with you today, but this particular one is the one my mother uses and one of my father´s favorite dishes. It may be served with mashed potatoes, white rice or salad. I hope your family likes it as much as mine. Bon appétit!
- 5 lb beef (eye of round)
- 1/2 lemon
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium)
- 2 teaspoons mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 large white onion, peeled and cut into four pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 4 bunches scallions
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 1/2 cup grated papelón (sugar cane concentrate)
- 1 small can tomato purée
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup green olives stuffed with peppers
- Use half a lemon to clean the meat, leaving the fat layer that covers it. Season with the crushed garlic, soy sauce, mustard (to taste) and cumin. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.
- When you cook it, do so in hot vegetable oil over high heat and brown it on all sides, until you nearly burn the outside. It is usually prepared in a saucepan, but I made it in a large pot with a lid.
- While the meat browns, use a knife (it´s faster) to grate plenty of papelón (sugar cane concentrate).
- Once the meat is black, add the grated papelón over medium heat until caramelized and continue turning over very carefully to coat with the caramel.
- While the meat caramelizes, mix the following in the blender: onion, red bell pepper, scallions, cilantro, garlic and 1 1/2 cups of water until you have a consistent sauce.
- Add that sauce to the meat and let it cook, covered, over medium heat, turning it every half hour and making sure the sauce never dries up.
- After about 2 1/2 hours, the meat should be tender. Add the tomato purée almost at the end to give the sauce some consistency. Cover and let it cook over medium heat for another half hour.
- Once it´s ready, correct the salt or condiment of your choice. You may serve it whole on the table, garnished with a bunch of cilantro, or sliced (not too thin), coated with its delicious dark sauce and with a side of mashed potatoes, white rice, salad or anything you wish. Stir in the green stuffed olives.