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RECIPE – “Posta Cartagenera”

Overhead view of raw top round roast beef steak on dark background

The “Posta Cartagenera” is a delicious and popular Colombian beef dish specifically associated with the coastal city of Cartagena. It’s a flavorful and hearty beef stew typically made with beef, onions, tomatoes, and various seasonings. Here’s a recipe for Posta Cartagenera:


For the Marinade:

  • 2 pounds of beef (e.g., flank steak or round steak)
  • 1 cup of bitter orange juice (naranja agria) or a mixture of orange and lime juice
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Stew:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground achiote (annatto)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup white wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
  • Cooked white rice for serving


  1. Begin by marinating the beef. Combine the bitter orange juice (or orange and lime juice), minced garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Place the beef in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over it. Cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.
  2. Remove the beef from the dish and pat it dry with paper towels after marinating. Cut it into serving-sized pieces.
  3. heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the beef pieces and brown them on all sides. Once browned, remove the beef from the pot and set it aside.
  4. In the same pot, add the chopped onions and red bell peppers. Sauté them until they are soft and translucent.
  5. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, ground cumin, ground achiote, and bay leaf. Cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes have softened and the mixture is fragrant.
  6. Return the browned beef to the pot and add the beef broth and white wine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well.
  7. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the stew simmer for about 1 to 1.5 hours, or until the beef is tender and the flavors are well combined. You may need to add more beef broth or water if the stew becomes too dry during cooking.
  8. Once the beef is tender, remove the bay leaf. Taste the stew and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  9. Serve the Posta Cartagenera hot, garnished with chopped fresh cilantro, and accompanied by cooked white rice.

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