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Venezuelan Arepas With Shredded Beef

Venezuelan Arepas With Shredded Beef

Ingredients for the Arepas:
  • 2 cups Arepa flour—Harina Pan, Masarepa (do not use Masa Harina)
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • Coconut oil
Ingredients for the Carne Mechada:
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp sazon
  • 2 lbs beef skirt or flank steak
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 large green bell pepper, sliced thinly
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 large roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 6-oz can organic tomato paste diluted in 1 cup water
Ingredients for the Guasacaca:
  • 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado, seeded, peeled, quartered
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, seeded, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp jalapeno, seeded, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


Directions for the Arepas:


  1. Preheat oven to 375˚ F.
  1. In a bowl, mix water, salt, and canola oil. Pour in flour slowly and mix with a spoon until ingredients have incorporated. Let it stand for 5-7 minutes. Gather dough forming a ball, place it on a board or clean surface, and knead with hands for about 5 minutes; make sure to moisten your hands as you work with the dough. Break dough into equal-sized portions and form balls (about 8) with your hands, and then flatten slightly with palms to form discs.
  1. Heat cast iron skillet over medium-high temperature. Brush with coconut oil. Cook arepas on each side until a thin crust has formed and some light browning appears in the center of the arepa (just like the picture). You may have to do this in batches.
  1. Transfer arepas to oven, directly on the baking rack, and bake for 15-17 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
  1. Arepas can be sliced in half to create pockets; these can be stuffed with beef, cheese, cured meats, beans, and even veggies!


Directions for the Carne Mechada:


  1. Preheat oven at 400˚ F.
  1. In a bowl, whisk sazon and sea salt with a drizzle of olive oil. Place beef in bowl and marinade, spreading all over with your hands.
  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear beef until golden brown on both sides. Remove from pot and place on platter. Set aside.
  1. Add sliced onions to Dutch oven and cook for about 6 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add garlic and peppers; stir and cook for a couple of minutes. Return beef to pot, placing on top of vegetables; add tomatoes and cover with tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper, then cover with lid.
  1. Place covered pot in the oven and reduce heat to 225˚ F. Let it cook for 6 hours and up to 8 hours. Remove from oven and let it stand for at least 10 minutes. Using a fork or two, break beef apart completely until you see thin strands incorporating with the sauce and vegetables.


Directions for the Guanasaca:


  1. Place all ingredients except for salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until everything is finely chopped, scrape down sides of bowl, then pulse again.
  1. Process until all ingredients are incorporated and guasacaca is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to bowl.



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