Venezuelan Asado Negro | Dark Roast


Christmas time is all about traditions and one of my favorite traditions is of course, the food! I look forward to that time of the year when I get to scarf down Venezuelan hallacas and asado negro. Asado negro , or what in the states is called a dark roast, is a staple in every table for Venezuelans. It’s tender beef roast with a sweet and tangy dark brown sauce made from panela, or unrefined brown sugar. I really wanted to give my touch on this classic dish this year and it came out so damn good. Though this is traditional served around Christmas time, it makes for a great Sunday night dinner as well.

Asado Negro/Dark Roast

Difficulty:  Easy   Yields:  4-6   Prep Time: 15 mn Cook Time:  40 minutes


  • 1 cup shredded panela or brown sugar

  • 2 Lb Eye of round roast or bottom roast

  • 1 leek, sliced

  • ½ white onion, diced

  • 3 aji dulces (optional)

  • ½ red bell pepper, diced

  • 4-5 garlic cloves

  • ½ cup Worcestershire sauce

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar

  • 1 cup red wine

  • 1 cup beef stock

  • ½  tsp cumin

  • ½ tsp oregano

  • 2 tbs browning liquid (optional)

  • salt and pepper to taste  

  • Cornstarch slurry (optional)        


Preheat multicooker to sear mode or dutch oven to medium high heat. Add panela or brown sugar and allow it to start melting, stirring frequently. Pat dry beef and season beef with salt and pepper. Once the panela starts to caramalize, sear the beef on all sides until it develops golden brown crust. Remove beef and saute leeks, onion, aji dulces, bell peppers and garlic cloves until fragrant. Add Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar and red wine. Allow liquid to come to a boil for 2-3 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan for browned bits, and return beef to pot. Add remaining ingredients.

If using digital multicooker: Set to pressure cook mode for 35 minutes on high pressure. Lock and allow to cook until fork tender but not falling apart.

If using a dutch oven: Cover lid and place in a 325 degree oven for 2 hours and at 250 degrees for 1 hour until fork tender but not falling apart. Check liquid level about every hour while cooking, add more beef broth if needed.

Remove beef from cooking liquid. Strain the vegetables and bring remaining liquid to a boil. Reduce by half until thickened and taste for salt. If gravy is too thin, combine 1 tbs cornstarch and 1 tbs cold water, stir into gravy until dissolved. Gravy will thicken as it cooks.

To Serve: Slice beef and serve gravy on top.