Homemade arepas with slow cooked beef, fried plantains, pickled red onions, and a zippy chimichurri aioli. It’s spicy, sweet, and sour—my favorite flavor combination. Note: this recipe takes some forethought, so give yourself a day in advance to start planning/prepping.
Quick-Pickled Red Onions
Slow Cooked Beef
- 2 lbs. chuck or brisket
- 1 can (14.5 oz) Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes
- 2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more for searing
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- handful of cilantro, washed and stemmed
- 1/4 sweet onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp. neutral oil
- 2 ripe plantains
- neutral oil
- kosher salt
- Sliced avocado
- Up to a day or two in advance, make the chimichurri aioli and the quick-pickled red onions. Store covered in the fridge.
- The morning before serving, prepare the beef. In a high-powered blender or food processor, add in the tomatoes, salt, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, cilantro, onion, and garlic. Blend until smooth. Mixture will taste noticeably salty. Set aside.
- In a skillet or appropriate slow-cooker vessel, add the oil. Heat on medium-high. To one side of the beef, sprinkle liberally with kosher salt. Once oil jumps at a tiny flick of water, place the beef into the pan, salt side down. Sprinkle the side up with salt. Once the meat has a lightly golden thin crust, flip and cook the other side (about 3 minutes on each side). Remove from heat and place meat and remaining oil into the slow cooker. Pour in the tomato paste and thin with a little water if needed to spread the basin of the vessel. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Shred before serving, pouring a couple generous spoonfuls of the liquid over the meat.
- One hour before serving, begin making the Lindsay’s arepas. While arepa mixture rests, heat a cast iron skillet with oil on medium heat. (We’re going to borrow the oil used for the arepas for the plantains.) Prepare the plantains. Peel and make long diagonal cuts, about 3/8″ in width (see image above). Place the plantains into the oil and cook until golden, flip, and cook the other side (about 3 minutes per side). Meanwhile shape the arepas as instructed. When the plantains are finished cooking, remove onto a paper towel to soak any extra grease. Lightly sprinkle with kosher salt. Set aside. Cook arepas in the same oil as instructed.
- To serve, cut arepas in half. Top with shredded beef, plantains, pickled red onion, chimichurri aioli, avocado, and cotija.
• The arepas can be made ahead of time and reheated in the oven, however they tend to toughen up the longer they sit.
• Hola Arepa serves all their arepas with a side of yucca fries. I’m bookmarking this recipe to try.