I LOVE arepas, a flatbread made of corn flour dough commonly eaten in Colombia and Venezuela. They are so satisfying especially when you want a warm sandwich but know you cannot have regular bread. They have so much more flavor than bread. The first time I had them was at Empanada Mama in New York. And there are a couple of places in LA and Orange County that are fantastic. Cafe Bolivar in Santa Monica and Mil Jugos in Santa Ana. But I have yet to find any Arepas near Long Beach so I decided I needed to learn how to make them.
I received so many amazing gifts for Christmas this year and am so inspired to cook some great new recipes. For this post I used my new Secura 6-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker and my new Arepa Maker. I love them both.
I have always been afraid of the pressure cooker for some reason. It seemed complicated and also scary when the pressure releases. Honestly it is so easy to use and not scary at all. I love the 6 functions of the electric one I bought because we do not have a lot of storage space so it is really nice to have something that is multi-function. The other advantage of the electric pressure cooker is you can set it and forget it. You can leave the house to run errands and program it to have something ready when you get home from work just like a slow cooker. You don’t have to babysit it or worry about leaving your stove on. I’ve already used it to keep soup warm for a party, make pinto beans, cook the pork for this post, and it is currently making some bone broth. It made the pork for this post in 1.5 hours and the beans in only 30 minutes. I also cooked a butternut squash in 17 minutes and sweet potatoes in 7 minutes. I can’t wait to use it to cook spaghetti squash, pumpkin, etc.
The arepa maker cooks the arepa perfectly and is great for quick arepas but not so great for large quantities. 15 minutes seems like a long time but is really fast when you compare it to manually making arepa on the stove and in the oven. If you have more than 2 people I recommend looking at the larger capacity arepa machines.
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Ground Ancho Chile
2 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Salt and Ground Pepper
2 Tbsp Crushed Garlic
1 Diced Onion
Approx 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder
1 cup of Gluten Free Beer
2 cups Water or enough to cover pork
1. Add the onions, garlic, scallions, and beer to the slow cooker or pressure cooker and stir to combine.
2. Combine the paprika, ancho chile, cumin, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture over the pork.
3. Add the pork to pressure cooker or slow cooker and pour in the 2 cups of water to cover
4. For the slow cooker, cook on low for 8 hours. For the pressure cooker, cook for 1.5 hours once you have reached full pressure and allow pressure to naturally release
5. Pull the pork using two forks and mix in a bowl.
Serve on or with arepas and Guasacaca Sauce.
1 Cup P.A.N Harina Blanca (Pre Cooked White Cornmeal)
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Cup Water – add more if needed for the right consistency
1. Turn on Arepa maker to preheat
2. Pour Water into a bowl and add the salt
3. Slowly stir in the Pan Harina Blanco until completely combined
4. Roll the dough into 4 balls and press each of them down until approximately 1/2″ thick
5. Spray or use a paper towel to coat arepa maker with olive oil
6. Close arepa maker and cook for 15 minutes
7. Cut open arepa and add pulled pork