Carne Desmechada Recipe - Traditional Colombian Steak Dish

Carne Desmechada

Carne Desmechada Recipe - Traditional Colombian Steak Dish
Region / culture: Colombia | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour | Servings: 6


Carne Desmechada
Carne Desmechada

Carne Desmechada, also known as shredded beef, is a popular dish in Latin American cuisine. This flavorful and tender meat is perfect for tacos, arepas, empanadas, or simply served over rice.


Carne Desmechada has its origins in Venezuela, where it is a staple dish in many households. The slow-cooked beef is shredded and then sautéed with onions, tomatoes, and garlic to create a delicious and savory filling.


How to prepare

  1. Marinate the meat with tomatoes, chopped onions, minced garlic, and salt.
  2. Place the flank steak in a casserole, cover it with water, and cook.
  3. Drain the steak and allow it to cool down.
  4. Shred the meat.
  5. Heat oil in a frying pan and add onions, tomatoes, garlic, and salt.
  6. Add the shredded meat and stir-fry for 10 minutes.


  • Add bell peppers or jalapeños for a spicy kick.
  • Use different cuts of beef, such as brisket or chuck roast.
  • Substitute the vegetable oil with lard for a richer flavor.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Marinate the meat for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to penetrate.

- Use a flank steak for the best results, as it is tender and shreds easily.

- Be sure to drain the cooked meat before shredding to remove excess liquid.

- Stir-fry the shredded meat over high heat to achieve a crispy texture.

Serving Suggestions

Carne Desmechada can be served in a variety of ways, such as in tacos, arepas, empanadas, or over rice. It pairs well with avocado, salsa, and a squeeze of lime juice.

Cooking Techniques

The key to making Carne Desmechada is slow-cooking the meat until it is tender enough to shred easily. Be sure to sauté the shredded meat over high heat to achieve a crispy texture.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you don't have flank steak, you can use chuck roast or brisket as a substitute. You can also use canned tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes.

Make Ahead Tips

Carne Desmechada can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Simply reheat in a skillet before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Carne Desmechada in a colorful bowl with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro on top. Garnish with a slice of lime for an extra pop of flavor.

Pairing Recommendations

This dish pairs well with rice, beans, plantains, or a side salad. A cold beer or a glass of red wine complements the savory flavors of the meat.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Carne Desmechada contains approximately 300 calories, making it a satisfying and filling meal option.


Carne Desmechada is low in carbohydrates, making it a great option for those following a low-carb diet. Each serving contains approximately 5 grams of carbohydrates.


This dish is moderate in fats, with each serving containing around 15 grams of fat. The fats mainly come from the vegetable oil used for cooking.


Carne Desmechada is a rich source of protein, with each serving providing about 30 grams. Protein is essential for muscle growth and repair.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C from the tomatoes and onions. It also contains iron, zinc, and potassium.


This recipe contains no common allergens, but be sure to check for any specific allergies to ingredients such as garlic or onions.


Overall, Carne Desmechada is a nutritious and balanced meal option, providing a good mix of protein, fats, and carbohydrates, along with essential vitamins and minerals.


Carne Desmechada is a delicious and versatile dish that is perfect for any occasion. With its tender and flavorful shredded beef, it is sure to become a favorite in your household.

How did I get this recipe?

The moment I discovered this recipe is a cherished memory. It all began when I was a young girl, eager to learn the art of cooking from my grandmother. She was a skilled cook who had a knack for creating delicious dishes that brought the family together around the dinner table.

One day, as I watched her prepare a hearty and flavorful dish called Carne Desmechada, I knew I had to learn how to make it myself. The tender shredded beef cooked in a savory tomato sauce with onions and peppers was a family favorite, and I wanted to be able to recreate it for my own loved ones one day.

My grandmother shared with me the story of how she learned to make Carne Desmechada. She told me that the recipe had been passed down through generations in our family, with each cook adding their own twist to make it their own. She had learned how to make it from her own grandmother, who had learned it from hers, and so on.

The key to making Carne Desmechada, my grandmother explained, was in the slow cooking process. The beef had to be simmered for hours until it was tender enough to be shredded with a fork. This allowed the flavors to meld together and create a rich and savory sauce that would coat the meat perfectly.

As I watched my grandmother work her magic in the kitchen, I took mental notes of every step she took. From browning the beef in a hot pan to sautéing the onions and peppers until they were soft and fragrant, I absorbed every detail like a sponge. I knew that one day I would be able to recreate this dish for my own family, just like she had done for us.

After several hours of simmering, the Carne Desmechada was finally ready. The tender beef had soaked up all the flavors of the tomato sauce, onions, and peppers, creating a dish that was both savory and comforting. My grandmother served it over a bed of fluffy white rice, garnished with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. It was a meal fit for a king, and I savored every bite.

Years passed, and I continued to perfect my own version of Carne Desmechada. I experimented with different spices and seasonings, trying to find the perfect balance of flavors that would make this dish truly special. I added a touch of cumin for warmth and depth, a splash of vinegar for acidity, and a pinch of sugar to balance out the flavors.

Each time I made Carne Desmechada, it brought back memories of my grandmother and the time we had spent together in the kitchen. I could almost hear her voice guiding me through the steps, her hands showing me how to handle the ingredients with care and precision. Cooking this dish was a way for me to connect with my family history and honor the traditions that had been passed down to me.

Today, when I make Carne Desmechada for my own family, I see the same joy and satisfaction on their faces that I had seen on my grandmother's all those years ago. The rich aroma of the simmering beef fills the air, bringing everyone together around the dinner table in anticipation of a delicious meal. And as we sit down to eat, I can't help but feel grateful for the legacy of love and food that my grandmother passed down to me.


| Beef Steak Recipes | Colombian Meat Dishes | Colombian Recipes |

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