Traditional Colombian food: how to prepare “sobrebarriga”


This is your opportunity to try “Sobrebarriga”! A classic dish among Colombian families that gathers them on Sundays. Include it in your family with this recipe!

As a kid, going to my grandmother’s house was an incredible experience since I loved to be spoiled by them, go for walks, share stories and eat delicious food from all over the world, How did they do it? They got recipes from friends, coworkers, magazines and other people’s kitchens. Years ago, I didn’t have the chance to visit Colombia. But I had the opportunity back in my country to meet a colombian that was living in my grandmother’s house. So this gave me a taste of what could I find in colombian food, We shared amazing times and also I tried incredible dishes, such as delicious soups, coconut rice, plantain filled with cheese and one of my favorites: “sobrebarriga”, which is a hard steak for shucking, slow cooked as a stew with full of flavor and homemade taste.

You can find the ingredients in any food market and it will be around $60.000 COP ($22 USD). The meat you can also find it in any butcher around the city (read our article on how to order from the butcher here). Also, you can use some of them for another occasion, like the garlic paste, coriander, cube, salt, pepper, cumin and the olive oil, because they are the base for most of the colombian dishes. This recipe is for 4 people, for about 2 to 3 portions per person. If it’s only for you, you can divide the recipe and/or save the rest for another day by freezing it after the dish is cool. Are you imagining how the “sobrebarriga” will taste yet?


1 kg skirt steak / carne para desmechar

2 onions / cebollas

6 scallions stems / tallos de cebolla larga

½ red bell pepper / pimentón

2 tsp garlic paste / cucharadas de ajo en pasta

½ cup of coriander / media taza de cilantro

6 cups of water / agua

1 cube of meat flavor / cubo de carne

salt and pepper / sal y pimienta

olive oil / aceite de oliva

4 tomatoes / tomates

½ tsp cumin / comino


  1. First of all, we have to boil the steak because it’s the part that takes the most time to be cooked, so put it inside the cooking pot with an onion cut into 4 slices, one scallion stem cut into 3 parts, a tablespoon of garlic, and some leaves of coriander, and cover everything with water, (almost 6 to 8 cups) . Don’t forget to add the cube to intensify the flavor and the salt and pepper. Let it cook for 2  and a half hours over medium heat (if you have a pressure cooker, it will be less time)
  2. Meanwhile, let’s go with the sauce which is very similar to “hogao”. You have to chop the rest of the vegetables into little pieces and once everything is done you can proceed to cooking them, but be careful to remove all the seeds of the red bell pepper (you won’t want to eat those)
  3. Now in order to cook all the vegetables you already cut into little pieces, drop them in a pot with a little bit of olive oil. Put the tablespoon of garlic paste and add the onions and scallions. When they start to look transparent, add the red bell pepper and the tomatoes. Cook everything over medium heat until it turns almost into a paste, then finally add the cumin and a cup of water from the pot that is cooking the steak.
  4. When the steak is ready, cut it in slices 3 cm thick and put them into the sauce, cover the pan and lower the temperature until that cup of water you added before has boiled
  5. When it’s ready, serve the steak with the amount of sauce you want, rice and a slice of avocado and enjoy!!

While this meal is usually accompanied by rice, I like to use mashed potatoes instead and a slice of avocado on the side, like most of the colombians do. Here in Colombia you will find many different ways of preparation, but the way I explained is the most common. Regarding the drinks you can have with this dish, I normally have water, but in Bogotá you can find many fruits which you can use to make delicious juices!

If you are proud of the results and know another way to cook this dish, leave me a comment below and upload a picture on social media using @colture_travel to see the results!

Are you too lazy to cook this meal? You can try a delicious one in Casa Vieja restaurant (it’s my favorite for all all Colombian traditional dishes!)
Hope you fall in love with Colombian gastronomy as I have!

You can try other traditional recipes in the following articles:

Typical Colombian Breakfast Soup: How to Prepare Changua

My Rediscovery of the Ajiaco

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