Pulled Pork

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.


Pulled Pork

  • 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
  • Mayo
  • Garlic
  • Lime zest and juice
  • Serrano pepper (diced, seeds out)
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste



  • 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.

  1. Mix the paprika, cumin, pepper, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl. Rub the outside of the pork shoulder with the mixture.
  2. Line the bottom of the slow cooker with the onions.
  3. Place the pork shoulder on top of the onions.
  4. Mix together the BBQ sauce, bourbon. and vinegar and pour into cooker.
  5. Place 4 to 6 strips of bacon on the top of the pork shoulder, close the lid and set to low.
  6. Allow to cook 8 to 10 hours.
  7. 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.


  1. Finely julienne the daikon radish, bell pepper, and carrots and place into a bowl
  2. Finely dice about 1/2 of the pepper and mix in with the radish, pepper and carrots
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the dressing:
    1. Finely mince the Serrano pepper
    2. Zest one lime
    3. Peel and press 1 garlic clove into the juice of 1 lime
    4. Add 1 cup of mayonnaise
    5. Add chopped cilantro
  4. Pour the dressing over the slaw and mix in thoroughly
  5. 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.

A very yummy meal

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.