Health and Wellness Night, presented by Equality Health, is this Saturday, May 13th, and to celebrate, we’re asking players ways to stay happy and healthy, whether on the pitch or at home.
Home-cooked meals, made from natural ingredients, are one way players stay healthy.
Forward Manuel Arteaga shared with us his favorite home-cooked meal: Pabellon Criollo, the national dish of Venezuela.
Below are the ingredients and cooking instructions for how to make it yourself at home.
- 2 TBSP salt
- 1 TBSP ground cumin
- 1 TBSP turmeric
- 1 TBSP black pepper
- Olive oil
- 2 lbs flank steak
- 3 chopped onions
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 large green bell peppers
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 cans tomato paste
- 2 cups white rice
- 2 lbs black beans
- 2 ripe plantains
Marinate the Meat
- In a large bowl, mix one tablespoon of each of the following: paprika, cumin, turmeric, salt, and black pepper. Add olive oil until you get a liquid marinade.
- Place your beef in the bowl and make sure to cover it thoroughly with the prepared marinade. Cover the bowl.
- Put the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours to allow the meat to fully soak up the flavor.
Sear the Meat
- In a Dutch oven, heat 2 TBSP of olive oil over medium-high heat. Let your beef sear in there for about 5 minutes per each side.
- Once the meat turns golden brown, remove it and set it aside for now.
Cook the Meat
- In the same dutch oven from earlier, replenish the olive oil and sauté one sliced onion until it becomes translucent — that should take about five minutes.
- Add three chopped garlic cloves with one sliced red bell pepper and let them cook for five more minutes.
- Add two chopped tomatoes with two cans of tomato paste.
- Place your beef back in the Dutch oven, and add water or broth until the beef becomes fully submerged.
- Cover the Dutch oven with its lid and let the mixture simmer over medium-low heat for about two hours.
- When meat is cooked, start shredding the beef by using two forks.
If the beef isn’t tender enough yet, let it simmer for 30 minutes before trying again.
Preparing the Black Beans
- Put beans in a large pot and cover with water, soak them for at least 12 hours before cooking.
- Drain the beans, and cover them with fresh water. Cook your beans on low for about one hour. You can add chopped onions, garlic, bay leaves, chili powder, cumin, and salt if you want to add flavor. Check on your beans and add more water if needed. You should keep simmering the beans until they are tender.
Preparing the Rice
- Rinse the Rice. As a rule of thumb, you should keep rinsing until the water comes out clean to ensure that you remove all the impurities.
- Cook the Rice. Pour three TBSP of olive oil into a medium-sized pot, and heat it over medium-high heat.
- Sauté two cloves of chopped garlic until they turn golden. Add the rice and stir well to thoroughly mix it with the oil.
- After about two minutes, add four cups of water and let it cook for a while.
- Once the water boils, reduce the heat to low, and let the rice cook until it absorbs all the water — that should take about 20 minutes.
Preparing the Plantains
- Peel and Cut the blackish yellow plantains. To peel the plantains, cut off their tips, and carefully slice the peel with a knife. Now start cutting the plantains into 1-inch-thick slices.
Fry the Plantains
- Heat five TBSP of oil in a frying pan over high heat.
- Start laying the plantain slices into the pan, and cook each side for about one and a half minutes. Once the bottom edge becomes golden brown, lower the heat to medium-high, flip the slices, and fry them for one minute.
- Once the slices become evenly fried, move them onto a plate lined with paper towels to drain the excess oil.
Putting Pabellón Criollo Together
- Arrange the meat, rice, black beans, and plantains in whichever order you like.
- Serve with arepas on the side to Pabellón Criollo or add eggs and avocado, to fully enjoy this truly authentic Venezuelan dish.