While Venezuelan Arepas are perfect for the campground, they are also great for feeding a crowd. These pork corn cakes are a family favorite in the Martin household! Our family makes them when the cousins are together, and thanks to our brother-in-law whose family immigrated from Venezuela, we have a tradition we cherish. Feel free to experiment with any meat or cheese combination, just grab whatever is available. Let me know how they turn out! Oh, and be generous with the butter!
- 1 lbs Pork Loin or Roast
- 2 clove Garlic Minced
- 1 small Onion Chopped
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- ½ cup Chicken Broth
- ½ cup Orange Juice
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 can Black Beans
- ¼ tsp Ground Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Ground Cumin
- ½ tsp Paprika, Smoked or Plain
- Salt and Pepper
- ¼ cup Cilantro
- 1 Sliced Avocado
- ½ cup Cotija Cheese (or any good cheese)
- 1 ¼ cup Water
- 1 cup Pan Pre-Cooked Cornmeal
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
To Make the Pork
- Add pork to the crockpot along with garlic, onion, orange juice, and chicken broth.
- Bake on low until the meat is tender and falls apart. (If you prefer, you can bake in oven, or even easier, you can buy pork already baked.) For the best version, cooking in the crockpot is easy and the traditional favors come through better.
To Make Beans
- Mix all ingredients and cook over low heat until cooked through.
To Make the Arepas
- This is an easy process. Add the water, cornmeal, and salt.
- Stir well and let sit for a few minutes to allow the water to absorb into the cornmeal.
- Once it is not soupy, form into four balls and flatten into a patty about a half inch thick (so you can slice it and fill the insides).
- Once the arepas are formed, add olive oil to non-stick pan and cook on each side until a crusty top is formed.
- You can then add them to the grill or oven for 10-15 minutes to continue to cook the inside.
- Note: Be careful of hot grills that can burn your arepas.
- Once the Arepas are finished, slice and add lots of butter.
- Then add pork, cheese, beans, avocado, and cilantro. Enjoy!
History of Venezuelan Arepas
Arepas, pronounced a’repa, are from the northern region of South America during the pre-Colombian times in the area of what is now Venezuela and Colombia. For over 3,000 years they have been made in this region of the world. Arepas are one of the most common daily meals served there today, but with the food shortages of the past few years, Venezuelans have had a harder time procuring the cornmeal flour needed for making them. Considered a pre-Hispanic food, they are one of the only foods still unchanged from the early indigenous people of the area.