Jan had been going on about the stuffed arepas that she had had at Pica Pica. You can fill these corn bread pockets with almost anything. I want to make my filling Venezuelan, but this was for a weekday meal, so I did not want to start from scratch.
I decided to make use of the French braised pork I had made on Sunday. I wanted to do something with the leftovers and with a bit of creative flavoring I could turn my French pork in into Venezuelan pulled pork.
I looked on-line to see how Venezuelan pork is different from other countries. I found this recipe and another recipe. Borrowing freely from these recipes, I came up with my own. It may not exactly be Venezuelan, but it should be tasty.
Karl’s Venezuelan Arepas Rumberas (arepas with pulled pork)
1 Tbs. corn oil
¾ cup sweet yellow onion, finely chopped
Pinch Kosher salt
½ cup red bell pepper, diced small
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
½ cup tomato salsa (or a small can of tomatoes)
½ cup pan drippings from the roast pork
2 oranges, juiced (about ½ cup)
1 lime, juiced (about 2 Tbs.)
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 lb. slow roasted pork, pulled
8-10 Venezuelan arepas
1 beef steak tomato, thinly sliced
1 avocado, thinly sliced
½ cup cilantro
1. Put the oil into a large sauté pan and sauté the onions with the salt, until just starting to pick up some color.
2. Add the red bell pepper and garlic and sauté one minute more.
3. Pull the vegetables to the edges of the pan and add the spices to the hole in the center. Cook them for 10 seconds before mixing them into the vegetables.
4. Add the salsa, pan drippings, juices and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the volume is reduced by half, about 20 minutes.
Note: I used some Mexican salsa, because I did not have a small can of plain tomatoes.
5. Stir in the pulled pork and heat for 5 more minutes.
6. Serve with Venezuelan arepas, tomato, avocado, and cilantro on the side.
Tip: Cut one edge of the arepa to form a pocket and fill with the pulled pork, tomato and avocado slices and cilantro.
Note: The avocado I bought was too green to use.