Arepas with Shredded Beef, Guasacaca, and Purple Slaw

As featured on CBS’ The Talk and Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family ShowArepas with shredded beef guasacaca

Arepas – Venezuelan Corn Cakes


  • 2 cups Arepa flour—Harina Pan, Masarepa (do not use Masa Harina)
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted


Arepas on the budarePreparation

Pre-heat oven to 375˚ F.

In a bowl, mix water, salt, and coconut oil. Pour in flour slowly and mix with a spoon until ingredients have incorporated. Let it stand for 5-7 minutes. Gather dough forming a ball, place it on a board or clean surface, and knead with hands for about 5 minutes; make sure to moisten your hands as you work with the dough. Break dough into equal-sized portions and form balls (about 8) with your hands, and then flatten slightly with palms to form discs.

Heat cast iron skillet over medium-high temperature. Brush with coconut oil. Cook arepas on each side until a thin crust has formed and some light browning appears in the center of the arepa (just like the picture). You may have to do this in batches.

Transfer arepas to oven, directly on the baking rack, and bake for 15-17 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Arepas can be sliced in half to create pockets; these can be stuffed with beef, cheese, cured meats, beans, and even veggies!

Note: Plain arepas are naturally Vegan, wheat-free, and gluten-free

Carne Mechada 

Although this beef is traditionally cooked first, shredded by hand and then seasoned with a sofrito, my slow-cooked recipe has just as great results and a lot less labor. I actually let it cook overnight, which is a great help for someone that cooks all day! This tastes even better after a day so store some in the refrigerator for later.


  • Coarse sea salt
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Alejandra’s Signature Sazon
  • 2 lbs beef skirt or flank steak
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 large green bell pepper, sliced thinly
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 large roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 6-oz can organic tomato paste diluted in 1 cup water


Pre-heat oven at 400˚ F.

In a bowl, whisk Signature Sazon and sea salt with a drizzle of olive oil. Place beef in bowl and marinade, spreading all over with your hands.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear beef until golden brown on both sides. Remove from pot and place on platter. Set aside.

Add sliced onions to Dutch oven and cook for about 6 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add garlic and peppers; stir and cook for a couple of minutes. Return beef to pot, placing on top of vegetables; add tomatoes and cover with tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper, then cover with lid.

Place covered pot in the oven and reduce heat to 225˚ F. Let it cook for 6 hours and up to 8 hours. Remove from oven and let it stand for at least 10 minutes. Using a fork or two, break beef apart completely until you see thin strands incorporating with the sauce and vegetables.

Use shredded beef to stuff arepas or serve it with rice, black beans, and fried plantains–just like the Venezuelan National Dish! :)



  • 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado, seeded, peeled, quartered
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, seeded, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp jalapeno, seeded, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


Place all ingredients except for salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until everything is finely chopped, scrape down sides of bowl, then pulse again.

Process until all ingredients are incorporated and guasacaca is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to bowl.

Purple slaw (optional)


  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 ½ cups purple cabbage, sliced thinly with mandolin
  • 1 tbsp green onions, thinly sliced


In a bowl, whisk lemon juice with olive oil along with some salt and pepper. Add cabbage and green onions. Toss to coat. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

As seen on the Hallmark Channel – Home & Family Show

Home and Family 3118 Final Photo Assets

6 thoughts on “Arepas with Shredded Beef, Guasacaca, and Purple Slaw

  1. I was looking for a recipe to make arepas for the students in my Spanish I and II classes. I can’t wait to try it. Gracias!

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