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Venezuelan Creole pavilion. Rice with shredded meat and beans

Venezuelan Creole pavilion. Rice with shredded meat and beans

people icon For 2 euro icon € 4.8 /pers. calories icon 290 kcal/100g


  • To prepare the beans: 500 g. of black beans or beans
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1 medium or large onion
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 125g. of paper or panela
  • Black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • For the rice: 175 g. round white rice
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1/2 onion or 1 small
  • Salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • For the shredded meat: 1/2 kg of beef skirt
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 4 pear tomatoes
  • 1 and a half onion or 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 sweet peppers
  • 1 tablespoon crushed tomato
  • Black pepper
  • cumin powder
  • Worcestershire sauce (Perrins type)
  • Salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • For the fried plantain: 2 plantains to fry
  • Olive oil

If there is a typical dish par excellence of Venezuelan cuisine , it is pabellón criollo , a calorie bomb composed of cooked white rice , stewed shredded meat, black beans – also called caraotas – and fried plantains. It also often arrives at the table accompanied by a portion of queso blanco llanero , which is also served with arepas at breakfast or dinner.

It seems that its origin comes from colonial times, when the slaves used the leftovers of the hacienda owners’ food from previous days to prepare this dish, adding the banana slices to the rest of the ingredients.

In addition to the more traditional version, composed only of rice, beans, meat and plantain, there are also variants, for example the pavilion with railing , where the banana slices are not placed on top of all the other ingredients but around the plate, forming a railing. In the pavilion on horseback, fried egg is added (in case it is not strong enough), in the morning pavilion the rice is replaced with arepas and we can accompany it with grated white cheese or scrambled eggs.

In the Margarita pavilion you have to put brown sugar on the black beans instead of paper and fish or seafood instead of meat. It is usually prepared in the East and in the coastal regions of Venezuela. These are just a few possibilities, it is even possible to prepare a vegetarian version of the pavilion in which the shredded meat is replaced with eggplants .

As we see, the Creole pavilion – which was originally called the national pavilion – is a starting point from which we can experiment with different flavors and textures. Your thing is to try some varieties of pavilion according to your own tastes at home. But it is best to start from the beginning, so let’s go with the traditional recipe.

Preparation of black beans

  1. Since it is what is going to take the most time, we start with the beans. The night before we will let them soak in a large bowl with a lot of water.
  2. The next day we remove the beans that float or those that look bad (some will have burst when hydrated and a white part will be seen coming out through the skin, those are the ones we will set aside.
  3. We drain them, transfer them to a large saucepan and pour plenty of water. About four or five fingers above the beans.
  4. Peel the onion and cut it in half, add one of the halves to the beans, also add the pepper and set over medium-high heat.
  5. When it comes to a boil, lower the heat and let it cook until the beans soften (at least an hour).

Preparation of the shredded meat

  1. While the beans are cooking we start with the meat. We peel an onion and cut it in half.
  2. Cut one of the halves into medium portions, about the size of an olive or a walnut. Peel and chop a clove of garlic.
  3. In a pressure cooker we put the beef brisket, a couple of glasses of water, half the chopped onion and the clove of garlic.
  4. We put the pot on the fire and cover. When it begins to release pressure, lower the heat and let it cook for 30 minutes. After that time we let all the pressure out, open the pot, take out the meat and let it cool. We also strain the broth and reserve it to be used a little later.
  5. When the meat has cooled – something we can speed up by cutting it into four or five pieces – we shred it with our hands into long, thin strands and set aside.
  6. We put a frying pan on the heat, heat a splash of oil, add the other half of the very finely chopped onion and three cloves of peeled and crushed garlic. We brown.
  7. We add the pepper and the very finely chopped chili peppers. We let everything poach together.
  8. Meanwhile, wash and chop the pear tomatoes. We add them to the sauce, stir and also add the crushed tomato (1 tablespoon), the Worcestershire sauce (2 tablespoons) and a pinch of cumin. We stir well to integrate all the flavors.
  9. We add the meat, mix well with a spatula or a wooden spoon and pour in the broth that we had strained before, let it cook over medium or low heat until it has completely evaporated but taking care that it does not dry out. During this time we remove and air the meat from time to time.

We continue with the beans

  1. When the beans have softened, we remove the onion and paprika, season with salt and pepper, grate the parchment and add it, we also give it a light touch of cumin powder.
  2. We continue cooking and if necessary we add more water so that they do not dry out. We remove the foam that forms on the surface with a spoon.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare a sauce in a frying pan with a splash of oil: brown the bacon cut into strips, peel and crush the three cloves of garlic and grate the other half onion, add them to the pan and stir. We fry for five minutes.
  4. Add the sauce to the beans and let everything cook together for 15 more minutes or until you have the desired consistency. We must keep in mind that as soon as we remove them from the heat they will dry quite quickly, so it is best not to use up the water completely.

Preparation of rice to accompany the Creole pavilion

  1. To prepare the rice, peel the onion and if it is small, cut it in half, peel and crush the two cloves of garlic.
  2. We put a saucepan on the heat with a splash of extra virgin olive oil, sauté the pepper, onion and garlic for a couple of minutes and add the rice.
  3. We stir to mix all the flavors well and pour two parts of water for each part of rice, wait for it to start bubbling and then add a pinch of salt, lower the heat and let it cook.
  4. When the rice is ready, turn off the heat, remove the pepper and onion and stir carefully to aerate it and make it loose.

Final assembly and presentation of the Creole pavilion

  1. To finish the pavilion we only need to fry the bananas. We peel them carefully and cut them into slices about a centimeter thick, although we can also do it lengthwise, that depends on taste.
  2. Heat a splash of mild olive oil (1º or 0.4º) and fry the banana slices over high heat. Remove to a plate lined with absorbent paper to release excess oil.
  3. We plate it by serving each diner a portion of shredded meat, another of black beans, a spoonful of rice and several slices of fried plantain.

Don’t forget to enjoy the fantastic recipes for Venezuelan cuisine that we have on the blog. You can see all the step-by-step photos of the pabellón criollo recipe in this album.

Tips for a perfect Creole pavilion

  • For the beans to be perfect, it is essential to let them soak the night before, or even a whole day. We can change the water a couple of times during this time, which will take on a black color.
  • If we cannot find papelón, which is the name given in Venezuela to panela or cooked and solidified sugar cane juice, we can substitute it with brown sugar. That sweet touch is essential to contrast with that of meat and rice.

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