Posta negra cartagenera / Meat in black sauce

Posta Negra Cartagenera / Beef in black stewPosta Negra Cartagenera is a fantastic dish from  the city of  Cartagena in Colombia.  It’s name refers to the Colombian meat cut “Posta”, the colour the stew gets due to the charring proccess, hence “negra” and the place it comes from Cartagena. So, basically it means meat in black sauce from Cartagena.

This dish, like most traditional dishes, takes quite some time to make and requires some forethought due to marinating over 2 nights. However it is quite surprisingly very simple to make.

Curiously enough, I tasted this dish only last year when my mother made it at home while she was visiting after my son was born. My parents had just moved to Cartagena and my mom had just learnt how to make the dish herself. At home we immediately loved it and kept asking my mom to make it over and over agian. My lovely mother, being the great cook that she is, even prepared Posta Negra for my husband’s whole extended family and they also loved it.
I can guarantee it has also passed the Norwegian palate test, as my mother-in-law has now prepared the dish as well to even more family members, continuing to ensure that Norway gets exposed to Colombian flavours one household at a time.

So, I encourage you to give this rich and succulent dish a try.

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Posta Negra Cartagenera / Beef in black stew

Prep Time 2 days 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours


  • 0.6 - 0.8 kg Beef for stew "gryttekjøtt" in Norwegian hard meat that can stand long, slow cooking, prepped for stewing
  • Salt


  • 70 gr brown sugar
  • 1 large onion roughly chopped
  • 300-500 ml cocacola
  • 1 big red pepper roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 cube of chicken stock powdered
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • ½ tbsp black pepper Optional: 1 tsp if you are not a big fan of spicy food
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro roughly chopped
  • Splash of oil

To cook

  • 1 tomato roughly chopped, optional
  • 2 tbsp neutral vegeteable oil
  • Salt


To prepare the marinate the meat

  1. Add all of the marinade ingredients reserving about half of the cocacola in a big enough bowl that has a lid.
  2. Add the whole piece of meat, prepped and ready to be cooked and then add more cocacola until it covers the meat, use some of the vegetables to cover the meat so the meat is completely submerged in the marinade.

  3. Cover with plastic wrap and lid and marinate for 2 days.

To cook

  1. Take out the meat from the marinade, dry and clean it as much as possible removing all vegetable and herbs.
  2. In the pot that you are going to slow cook the meat, cover the bottom with oil and sear the meat until charred all over. (Make sure to open windows and prepare yourself for a LOT of smoke)

  3. Add the marinade and tomato making sure that all of the meat is covered with liquid, if needed cut meat in larger chunks, bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the temperature and simmer for 4 hours or until so tender it comes apart with a fork, turning the meat every 45 minutes.
  5. Take out the meat and let it rest, meanwhile blend the sauce and season with salt and pepper if needed. Once it has cooled, slice the meat into 2-3 cm thick pieces and put them back into the sauce, and let it simmer on low for 30 more minutes.

  6. Serve with arroz con coco and patacones



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