Tasty Dishes in Bogotá you have to try: Carne Desmechada

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Carne desmechada

Valeria Garbin

“Carne desmechada” is dish that you definitely have to try on your trip to Bogotá It is a very typical Colombian stew that will surprise you with its simplicity, but also with its incredible flavor.

Colombian cuisine is full of wonderful dishes and flavors that you will love! “Carne desmechada” is one of those typical Colombian dishes that are a must on your visit to Bogotá.

It is a stew made of shredded veal meat cooked with tomato and onion that is used in main dishes or on top of patacones or arepas. In other Latin American countries, there are similar preparations known as “ropa vieja” (Cuba) or “carne mechada” (Venezuela).

How is it made?

This dish is made with flank steak, onions, tomato, garlic, meat broth, cumin, salt, and pepper. These ingredients are easy to find in any supermarket or neighborhood store, and luckily, they are also cheap!  You can buy one pound of  tomatoes for $1.000 – 2.000 Colombian pesos ($0.35 – $0.66 USD), one pound of onions for $1.000 Colombian pesos ($0.35 USD), garlic for less than $1.000 Colombian pesos ($0.1 USD), cumin for $1,800 – 2,500 Colombian pesos ($0.60 -0.80 USD), and one pound of flank steak for $10.000 Colombian pesos ($3 USD).

First, all of the meat is cooked for a while, at least an hour, so that later it can be trimmed easily. This gives it the softness that characterizes it.

Then, the cooked meat is mixed with a traditional Colombian sauce called hogao, which is basically made of onions and tomatoes. In that moment, the characteristic flavor is achieved! I cannot describe this amazing flavor, it’s your mission to discover it, but I can say that you will want to learn how to make it to be able to eat it every week.

If you want to see how this amazing dish is made, you can check out this video: https://hispanickitchen.com/recipes/carne-desmechada-colombian-shredded-beef/

How is it eaten?

“Carne desmechada” is used as part of a lot of main courses in daily Colombian lunches, usually accompanied by white rice, sweet plantain, avocado, and sometimes beans. It is also very commonly used to accompany patacones and arepas, other typical preparations that you will find easily in Bogotá. The meat is usually placed on top of patacones or arepas and it also goes with guacamole and ají.

Wherever you find it, this meat will delight you!

Where to try it in Bogotá

It will not be difficult to taste this dish in Bogotá! In many restaurants in the capital, you can order this plate for lunch, or even as an appetizer.

For example, at a restaurant called Patacones, you can eat a huge patacón covered in “carne desmechada,” guacamole, and cheese (I think after writing this article I will end up going there, since I’m craving it now!). Or you could go to Aquí en Santafé (Carrera 7 #62-61), a restaurant in Chapinero famous for its delicious arepas and toppings, like “carne desmechada.”

You can try this delicious dish for around $15,000 to 30,000 Colombian pesos ($4.50 to $9.50 USD). It’s cheap! So no excuses!

Have you tried this meat in other countries? Do you like it? Share your thoughts with us and go to our website to find out more dishes you have to try in your trip to Bogotá, although it may make you think about extending your trip. Will you have enough days to try so many incredible dishes?

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