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Arepas de Puerco

Arepas de Puerco

From: Chef Richard Sandoval, Zengo, Washington, DC. Yield: 4 servings.

1 ½ lb. pork butt

1 small yellow onion, rough chopped

1 bunch cilantro

½ cup hoisin sauce

¼ cup white vinegar

3 chiles de arbol

3 Tbsp. achiote pepper paste

2 Tbsp. Schimi togarashi

2 tsp. salt

as needed, arepas (recipe follows)

as needed, guacamole (recipe follows)

½ cup sour cream

2 seeded and sliced jalapenos

as needed for garnish, sesame seeds

Cut entire pork butt into smaller, proportionate pieces to ensure equal cooking time. In a pot, add pork, onion, cilantro, hoisin, vinegar, chile, achiote, togarashi and salt plus enough water to cover the pork. Make sure achiote and hoisin are completely dissolved. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover pot and cook until fork tender, about 3 hours.

Remove the pork from the liquid and set aside until cool. When cool, pull pork with fingers. Strain liquid and return to cover pork; adjust seasoning. Set pork aside and keep warm.

For arepas: In a bowl, combine ½ cup lukewarm water and 2 tsp. salt. Slowly mix in ½ cup masarepa yellow corn meal until absorbed. It should have a firm consistency. Divide dough into 8 equally sized balls. Roll in the palms of both hands until you form a smooth ball. Press flat into a disc, about 1½ inches thick. Cook both sides over low heat in a nonstick pan until barely browned on each side, about 2 minutes. Cool and reserve.

For guacamole: In a bowl, scoop and smash 3 small, ripe Hass avocados from Mexico with a fork. Add ¼ cup diced tomatoes, 2 Tbsp. each finely chopped onion and cilantro, 2 seeded, deveined and diced Serrano chiles, 1 tsp. lime juice and ⅛ tsp. salt. Mix well; adjust seasoning as needed.

To assemble and serve: Cut two of the arepas in half sideways and arrange on a plate. Layer each half with a small amount of pork, followed by a teaspoon of guacamole, ½ tsp. sour cream, and top with a slice of jalapeno. Garnish with sesame seeds.

TAGS: Food & Drink