Arepas

Prepare the meat

Place two medium sweet onions (chopped)

3 cloves of garlic (chopped), ¼ teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of Kosher salt

2 cans of small chilies

2 cans of crushed or whole tomatoes

And 1 pound of skirt steak, or flank steak, or beef chuck in a large Tupperware container with a tight lid. Marinade for 2 to 8 hours (depending on how much time you have).  In a large sauce pan lay the steak so it has room and bring the mixture to a boil for 10-15 minutes.  Then simmer for 4-6 hours.

Remove the meat, let it cool, then shred it to bite size and set it aside.

In a food processor mix all the ingredients from the sauce pan.

Then pour the mixture from the sauce pan back together with the meat.

Prepare the dough

In a large bowl add 2 ½ cups of warm water

1 teaspoon of Kosher salt

Whisk in 2 cups of Pre cooked white corn meal - can be bought in most large supermarkets or any Latin American ethnic store).

Stir well and let it sit for about 5 minutes.  Then add more flour as needed as you form in your hands an arepa the size of a large thick hamburger.

On a large sheet of wax paper flatten the dough ball into a circle about 5 to 6 inches in diameter.

Prepare arepas

Pre-heat the oven to 375°.  Oil a cookie sheet pan with vegetable oil or olive oil. Brush both sides of the arepa with oil and bake for about 20 minutes or until a light brown coat has formed on the outside.

Remove from the oven and let stand for about 5 minutes.  Then using a serrated knife cut the arepa almost in half like a bun.  Fill with the meat mixture.

Arepas are usually served with black beans and rice.  Platanos are a favorite accompaniment with arepas.  You can top them with sour cream, hot sauce, or your favorite salsa.  You can also stuff them with various things like chicken, cheese, or fish.