Pulled Pork with Arepas
This is a fusion dish, pulling from the States, Venezuela, and Cuba. Arepas are a staple of Venezuelan food, bringing a new twist to a traditional pulled pork sandwich. The pickles are a shout-out to the Cuban pork sandwich.
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 yellow onion cut in 8ths
- 2 to 4 oz of white or apple vinegar
- 2 to 3 oz of bourbon
- 4 oz of thick-cut bacon
- Boneless shoulder of pork (about 5 lbs)
- 4 oz of a good BBQ sauce (I like Stubs Spicy)
- Large daikon radish
- 2 large carrots
- 1 red bell pepper
- Lime zest and juice
- Serrano pepper (diced, seeds out)
- Chopped cilantro
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup PAN white corn meal
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1 to 1.5 cups warm water
- 1/4 cup of avocado oil
- 2 to 4 crisp dill pickles, sliced longways
This is a dish that requires patience and a slow cooker. The first step in the process is to cook the pulled pork. This can be done the day before.
- Mix the paprika, cumin, pepper, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl. Rub the outside of the pork shoulder with the mixture.
- Line the bottom of the slow cooker with the onions.
- Place the pork shoulder on top of the onions.
- Mix together the BBQ sauce, bourbon. and vinegar and pour into cooker.
- Place 4 to 6 strips of bacon on the top of the pork shoulder, close the lid and set to low.
- Allow to cook 8 to 10 hours.
- Remove the pork from the slow cooker and place into a large bowl. Add additional BBQ sauce to taste and use forks to shred the pork. Set aside.
- Finely julienne the daikon radish, bell pepper, and carrots and place into a bowl
- Finely dice about 1/2 of the pepper and mix in with the radish, pepper and carrots
- In a separate bowl, mix together the dressing:
- Finely mince the Serrano pepper
- Zest one lime
- Peel and press 1 garlic clove into the juice of 1 lime
- Add 1 cup of mayonnaise
- Add chopped cilantro
- Pour the dressing over the slaw and mix in thoroughly
- Add additional salt as needed
- Stir water and salt together in a medium bowl. (Either use warm water or warm the water in the microwave.)
- Gradually add water to the cornmeal, mixing with your fingers until the mixture forms a soft, moist, malleable dough. Cover and let the dough stand for 15 or more minutes.
- Form dough into balls and flatten into a 3/8-inch-thick arepa patties.
- Heat avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat; fry arepas in batches until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer cooked arepas to a paper towel-lined plate to drain until cool enough to handle.
- Slice halfway through each arepa horizontally with a thin serrated knife to form a pita-like pocket.
Place pulled pork on the arepas and serve with the pickles and slaw as a side. Add BBQ sauce to taste.
Arepas add a wonderful crispy and doughy nature to this dish and honor a quintessentially Venezuelan food. For more on the history and tradition of arepas follow the link below.