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Cartagena’s novel take on pot roast is dark, spiced and sweet
Milk Street Bowtie Colombian Braised Beef (Posta Negra)

Colombian Braised Beef (Posta Negra)

Appears in March-April 2018

4 hours 30 minutes active

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Colombian Braised Beef (Posta Negra)

Free

Named after its dark, sweet sauce, posta negra is a classic Colombian dish made by braising beef in a flavorful liquid seasoned with panela sugar and spices. For our version, we call for a 5-pound beef chuck roast; it's a fat-rich cut, so trim it well before tying the roast. In the end, the meat will be superbly tender and succulent. In Colombia, the dish might be served with fried plantains, yucca fritters and a simple salad; we liked this rich beef with an easy pico de gallo and/or mashed potatoes.

4

Servings

Tip

Don’t carve the roast without first letting it rest. Resting makes the meat easier to cut into neat slices.

4 hours

30 minutes active

1 5-pound boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and patted dry
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
10 medium garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon whole allspice
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
1 cup pitted prunes, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Ingredients
  • 1

    5-pound boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and patted dry

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 2

    tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 1

    large yellow onion, chopped

  • 10

    medium garlic cloves, peeled

  • 2

    tablespoons tomato paste

  • ½

    cup packed dark brown sugar

  • 2

    cinnamon sticks

  • 1

    tablespoon whole allspice

  • 2

    teaspoons black peppercorns

  • 1

    teaspoon whole cloves

  • 1

    cup dry red wine

  • ¼

    cup worcestershire sauce

  • 1

    cup pitted prunes, coarsely chopped

  • 1

    tablespoon cornstarch

  • 3

    tablespoons red wine vinegar

Directions
  1. 01
    Heat the oven to 300°F with a rack in the lower-middle position. Using kitchen twine, tie the roast at 2-inch intervals. Season on all sides with salt and pepper.
    See Demo
    02 14 18 Cpk 025
  2. 02
    In a large Dutch oven over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and ¼ teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring, until the onion is well browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until it begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, peppercorns and cloves. Pour in the wine, bring to a simmer and cook until thick and syrupy, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and prunes.
    See Demo
    02 14 18 Cpk 045
  3. 03
    Place the roast in the pot, then turn to coat with the liquid. Cover and bake until a paring knife inserted into the thickest part meets no resistance, 3½ hours. Transfer the roast to a shallow baking dish and loosely tent with foil. Let rest for 30 minutes.
    See Demo
    02 14 18 Cpk 058
  4. 04
    Meanwhile, set a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Pour the contents of the pot into the strainer and press on the solids with a rubber spatula to extract as much liquid and pulp as possible; scrape the underside of the strainer to collect the pulp. Discard the solids. Let the liquid and pulp settle for about 5 minutes (you should have about 1½ cups), then skim off the fat. Return the defatted liquid and pulp to the Dutch oven and bring to a simmer over medium.
    See Demo
    02 14 18 Cpk 438
  5. 05
    In a small bowl, stir together 3 tablespoons water and the cornstarch. Whisk into the simmering liquid and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the vinegar. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
    See Demo
    02 14 18 Cpk 459
  6. 06
    Transfer the roast to a cutting board. Remove and discard the twine. Cut the meat against the grain into ½-inch slices and transfer to a platter. Pour about 1 cup of the sauce over the meat. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side.
    See Demo
    Columbian Braised Beef (Posta Negra)
Tip: Don’t carve the roast without first letting it rest. Resting makes the meat easier to cut into neat slices.
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Mains

Reviews
Malia T.
August 7, 2022
Delicious and succulent!!
This was one of the most delicious roasts I have ever made or eaten. My whole family absolutely loved it, too. I kept the recipe as is, except used white wine vinegar in the sauce instead of red wine vinegar (because at the last minute I discovered I had run out of the red). The meat had a delightful crust and the sauce was addictively tasty. For my sides, I made papas chorreadas (another Colombian dish with potatoes and a tomato cream and cheese sauce) and a wonderful little Colombian tomato, cucumber and avocado salad with a lime dressing. The sides complimented the rich, sweet and savory roast very well, but it seemed to me it might go well with many other dishes. One of the best dinners that has crossed our table (ever) and I would make this fabulous roast again and again!
Patricia B.

This is one of the most enjoyable meals I've made. I tweaked it slightly using short ribs instead of the round roast, and didn't need to thicken the sauce at the end as it had reduced down nicely. I served it with parsley buttered egg noodles. This was a hit. Thank you for this recipe

Rachel B.

I'm considering trying this in my slow cooker; any suggestions?

Lynn C.

Hi Rachel -

If you take a look at the version of the recipe from our Fast & Slow cookbook here: https://www.177milkstreet.com/recipes/colombian-savory-sweet-braised-beef-fast-slow - we give instructions for slow cooking. Although these are designed for slow cooking in an Instant Pot, the process should be mostly the same in a traditional slow cooker except you will have to do the sautéeing and boiling on the stovetop and then transfer to the slow cooker.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Kathryn C.

Where is the recipe for the pico de gallo they made and served with it on the show?

Lynn C.

Hi Kathryn -

You can find the quick pico de Gallo recipe here - https://www.177milkstreet.com/recipes/quick-pico-de-gallo.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

David B.

This dish is phenomenal. I've made it several times for dinner parties, and it is universally loved. The flavors are robust and savory while the meat is super tender.

maureen s.

For MS staff: If I half this recipe will do I still cook it as long? I would think yes, I typically find a chuck roast that weighs roughly 3 lbs. thanks.

Lynn C.

Hi Maureen -

We would recommend checking a smaller roast earlier. It still may need the full 3 1/2 hours, but you don't want it to get too shred-y since you'll want to be able to slice it. Once a paring knife inserted into the thickest part meets no resistance it will be ready to go.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

maureen s.

Another question- I could only find a 4 pound chuck roast- can I keep all of the other measurements the same?

Lynn C.

Hi Maureen -

We think the amounts should be fine for a 4 pound chuck roast. You may just end up with more sauce to meat.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

maureen s.

I really enjoyed this dish. I must have cooked the meat too long because it was falling apart as I sliced it. It's not a difficult dish to make and I would definitely make it again. The house smelled divine while it was cooking.


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Colombian Braised Beef (Posta Negra)

Get Ready to Cook

4

Servings

4 hours

30 minutes active

Tip

Don’t carve the roast without first letting it rest. Resting makes the meat easier to cut into neat slices.

Ingredients
  • 1

    5-pound boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and patted dry

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 2

    tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 1

    large yellow onion, chopped

  • 10

    medium garlic cloves, peeled

  • 2

    tablespoons tomato paste

  • ½

    cup packed dark brown sugar

  • 2

    cinnamon sticks

  • 1

    tablespoon whole allspice

  • 2

    teaspoons black peppercorns

  • 1

    teaspoon whole cloves

  • 1

    cup dry red wine

  • ¼

    cup worcestershire sauce

  • 1

    cup pitted prunes, coarsely chopped

  • 1

    tablespoon cornstarch

  • 3

    tablespoons red wine vinegar

Step 1 of 6

Tie and season the roast

1
5-pound boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and patted dry
Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 300°F with a rack in the lower-middle position. Using kitchen twine, tie the roast at 2-inch intervals. Season on all sides with salt and pepper.

Step 2 of 6

Prepare the cooking liquid

2
tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
1
large yellow onion, chopped
¼
teaspoon kosher salt
10
medium garlic cloves, peeled
2
tablespoons tomato paste
½
cup packed dark brown sugar
2
cinnamon sticks
1
tablespoon whole allspice
2
teaspoons black peppercorns
10
medium garlic cloves, peeled
1
cup dry red wine
¼
cup Worcestershire sauce
1
cup pitted prunes, coarsely chopped

In a large Dutch oven over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and ¼ teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring, until the onion is well browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.


Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until it begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, peppercorns and cloves. Pour in the wine, bring to a simmer and cook until thick and syrupy, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and prunes.

Step 3 of 6

Coat and bake

Place the roast in the pot, then turn to coat with the liquid. Cover and bake until a paring knife inserted into the thickest part meets no resistance, 3½ hours. Transfer the roast to a shallow baking dish and loosely tent with foil. Let rest for 30 minutes.

Step 4 of 6

Strain and continue to cook

Meanwhile, set a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Pour the contents of the pot into the strainer and press on the solids with a rubber spatula to extract as much liquid and pulp as possible; scrape the underside of the strainer to collect the pulp. Discard the solids.


Let the liquid and pulp settle for about 5 minutes (you should have about 1½ cups), then skim off the fat. Return the defatted liquid and pulp to the Dutch oven and bring to a simmer over medium.

Step 5 of 6

Add the cornstarch and vinegar

1
tablespoon cornstarch
3
tablespoons red wine vinegar

In a small bowl, stir together 3 tablespoons water and the cornstarch. Whisk into the simmering liquid and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the vinegar. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Step 6 of 6

Transfer, cut and serve

Transfer the roast to a cutting board. Remove and discard the twine. Cut the meat against the grain into ½-inch slices and transfer to a platter. Pour about 1 cup of the sauce over the meat. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side.

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