Posta Negra con Ciruelas Pasas

Blackened Beef with Dried Plum Sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 8


Appears in

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

By Patricia McCausland-Gallo

Published 2004

  • About

Blackened beef (Posta Negra) is a delicious dish and one that originated in Cartagena de Indias, our lovely walled city in the Caribbean. Here I make it lighter by accompanying it with a prune sauce that is more typically used in Colombia with pork. It is a delicious way to blacken the beef and flavor the sauce without all the sugar from the ingredients (brown sugar and cola) in the original recipe.


  • cup grated onion
  • 3 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3-pound beef roast (rolled rump, eye of round, or top round)
  • 1 cup seeded prunes
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • teaspoons salt
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Process onion, mustard, garlic, and pepper to a puree. Place the beef in a nonreactive container. Rub the onion mixture all over the beef and refrigerate 1 to 3 days. (The longer you marinate it, the more tender the beef will be.)
  2. Cook the prunes in 2 cups of water over low heat for 10 minutes, or let the prunes sit in a bowl in the warm water on the countertop overnight. Drain and purée the prunes in blender.
  3. Thirty minutes before cooking, remove the meat from the refrigerator and set aside to reach room temperature.
  4. Place a medium or large pressure cooker over medium-high heat and add the beef fat side down. Brown for 7 minutes; turn and brown the other side of the beef for 2 more minutes. Add prune mixture, the wine, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and bay, leaves. Cover and cook under pressure on medium heat for 25 minutes. (If using a regular pot, cook for 2 to 3 hours.)
  5. Remove the pot from the heat; release the pressure, let stand for 10 minutes and then open. Simmer over low heat for 1 hour with the cover ajar (this step is the same if using a regular pot).
  6. Remove the meat from the pot, let it stand for 10 minutes, and then slice. Skim the fat from the sauce in the pot. Serve over the sliced beef or on the side.