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Beef and Avocado Arepa

Beef and Avocado Arepas are flavorful Venezuelan sandwiches that are made with homemade arepa dough.

Beef and Avocado Arepa

Beef and Avocado Arepa

Have you ever had an arepa before? I hadn’t, and I cannot believe I’ve never been exposed to these little pockets of awesome. I LOVE sandwiches, so finding a kind I’ve not only never tried, but have never even heard of? That’s a good day. This beef and avocado arepa made a good day really great.

Beef and Avocado Arepa

Arepas are Venezuelan breads made with cornmeal. I used P.A.N. Cornmeal. Make sure you are using a similar variety or your results may not match what you see here. You need precooked white cornmeal in order for this to work.

Beef and Avocado Arepa

These were like a cheesy taco sandwich, and the arepas were the perfect enclosure. Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, full of avocado and beef and cheese.

Beef and Avocado Arepa

I love having a little change up from the norm that usually happens with taco night, and the kids loved this neat little twist.

Beef and Avocado Arepa

Well – MOST of the kids. Can’t win them all. 😉

Beef and Avocado Arepa

These are kind of fool proof, to be honest. The dough is simple to mix together, and you can fry it up in a flash. There are so many fillings that these would be perfect for. Just make sure you’ve got the right kind of cornmeal. The stuff on a lot of US shelves won’t cut it!

Don’t confuse Masarepa (such as P.A.N. pre-cooked cornmeal) with Masa Harina. Masa Harina is used to make things like tortillas and cornbread. Masarepa is used for this, and they can not be substituted for each other. 


Want a dessert to go with these arepas? 

Apple Crumble Pie 
Homemade Marble Pound Cake
Triple Berry Trifle
Blueberry Pudding Lemon Cake


I’d eat them plain, they were so great. I love it when simple things can be so delicious. Let this be a starting point for you! I hope I can inspire you to create your own arepas. What flavor will you come up with? These versatile breads are quick and easy and delicious.

Beef and Avocado Arepa

Beef and Avocado Arepa

Beef and Avocado Arepa

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

These crispy, tender arepas are made fresh and filled with a super flavorful ground beef mixture.

Ingredients

Arepa:

  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 2 - 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4-5 tablespoons avocado oil

Meat:

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onions
  • 1 tablespoon beef Better Than Bouillon
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups shredded Mexican Blend cheese

Garnish:

  • Lettuce
  • Avocado
  • taco sauce

Instructions

  1. Mix together the cornmeal, warm water, salt, and butter. Mix until fully combined, and knead for a few minutes until smooth. Let rest while you cook the beef.
  2. Brown the ground beef with the salt, onion powder, and dried onions. Drain off excess fat, and add in Better Than Bouillon, water, cumin, and chili powder. Simmer over medium to low heat for 15 -20 minutes. Remove mixture from heat and slowly incorporate cheese, mixing frequently, until its fully melted and has tightened up the sauce. Keep warm over low heat while frying your arepas.
  3. Once the beef is being held over low heat, preheat a cast iron pan over medium heat with a teaspoon or two of oil inside. Roll out the arepa dough into balls, press into flat 1/2 inch thick discs, and place into hot pan. Fry 6-7 minutes per side, until golden brown and cooked through. Remove to a paper towel and repeat with the rest of the dough.
  4. Once cooled enough to handle, slice the arepas through the middle, and fill with beef and garnish with avocado, lettuce, and taco sauce. Enjoy hot!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 750 Total Fat: 52g Saturated Fat: 22g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 24g Cholesterol: 153mg Sodium: 1193mg Carbohydrates: 28g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 1g Protein: 43g
Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate. If you are tracking these things for medical purposes please consult an outside, trusted source. Thanks!

 

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Hannah

Friday 28th of July 2017

(Same Hannah as above) Is the cornmeal you use in this recipe precooked? Because I used plain white cornmeal. And I think that might be the reason Carla and I are ending up with soupy mush instead of a workable dough.

Nicole Johnson

Friday 28th of July 2017

Hey Hannah - I think you are right. I used Masarepa in this recipe which is P.A.N. brand pre-cooked white cornmeal. This is much different that regular cornmeal (masa harina).

I'm so sorry that happened to you though. I hate it when recipes don't turn out the way you expected! I've edited the post to make this more obvious so hopefully no one else has this experience.

I hope you'll give arepas another shot sometime! They really are great!

Hannah

Friday 28th of July 2017

Hi. So I really wanted to make this recipe, as it looks so freakin good. But I also ended up with a bowl of cornmeal soup, like the above commenter. I mixed 2c of cornmeal, and 2-1/2c warm water, 2t of salt and 2 T of butter, just like the recipe says. It resulted in soup. Not mush, and it looks NOTHING like your picture above. It is not a dough, it cannot be kneaded. It is gritty cornmeal soup.

My only thought was that the 1:1.25 ratio of dry to wet was off. So I attempted to drain off the excess water. Then I added an age to try and bind it. It is still soup.

I'm not sure what happened but I'm kinda disappointed because I really wanted to eat this.

Carla rayner

Thursday 12th of January 2017

Hi, I think you should edit the recipe to read "cornmeal flour". I used cornmeal as instructed and my "dough" is just a bowl of mush...upon researching "arepa" I found I was to use cornmeal flour. So, now I have beef cooking and a mush bowl...haha.

Nicole Johnson

Thursday 12th of January 2017

Hey Carla - I'm sorry that happened. I didn't use mesa flour though, I used actual cornmeal for these. You can see from my photos that the dough does resemble "mush". Some arepa recipes may use mesa flour, but this one doesn't. Here's the exact product I used in this recipe: http://amzn.to/2jCgfBJ