In this arepa recipe, the corn dough is stuffed with a Spanish-influenced beef mixture that is stewed with a soffrito mixture and capers to yield a flavorful combination of the very Native American arepa dough and Spanish stewed meat.
- Yield: 18 arepas (4 ounces/each)
- 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1 tsp Achiote Paste
- 5 oz Yellow Onion, minced
- 4 oz Green Pepper, minced
- 0.5 oz Garlic Cloves, minced
- ½ tsp Cumin, ground
- ¼ tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 lb Ground Beef (or pork, or a combination of both)
- 1 lb Tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 oz Capers, drained and rinsed Arepas Dough (from preceding recipe)
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
How to Make It
For Cooking the Stuffing
- Heat a small, heavy-bottomed pot, and add the vegetable oil and achiote paste; fry for 30 seconds to heighten the aroma and develop color in the oil.
- Add the onions, green peppers, and garlic; turn the heat down to slowly sweat and tenderize the vegetables in the fat.
- Once the vegetables are very soft, add the cumin and black pepper; turn the heat up to fry the spices with the fat and vegetables for 2–3 minutes.
- Add the ground beef leaving the flame high and continue to cook over high heat until the meat begins to brown.
- Once the meat has begun to brown, add the tomatoes, salt, and capers; turn the heat down to bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.
- Gently simmer the mixture for 30 minutes, and adjust seasoning.
- Once seasoned, set aside; keep mixture warm while you cook the arepas. For Cooking the Arepas
- Preheat a griddle to 325F and coat the surface with a thin layer of oil.
- Flatten pieces of the arepas dough into circles approximately 3 inches in diameter and ¾ inch thick; cook on the hot griddle (or a comal) with very little fat added to the griddle prior to cooking.
- Turn the arepas every couple of minutes until a light brown crust forms on the exterior (they should take at least 10 minutes to cook; if they are cooking more quickly, your griddle is too hot!).
- Once the arepas are cooked, cut them in half. If the centers are doughy, scoop them out and ladle some of the meat sauce into each one. Return the tops, and serve.