Read more: Latin American Cuisine: Colombian Arepas
- Yield:makes 8 arepas, serving 4 as a main course or 6 to 8 as an appetizer
- Active time: 45 minutes
- Total time:3 hours 15 minutes
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 medium cloves garlic, grated on microplane grater (about 2 teaspoons
- 1 roasted poblano or hatch chili, fresh, frozen, or canned, finely chopped
- 2 cups low sodium homemade or store-bought chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup finely crumbled queso fresco, cotija, or feta
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Double recipe Venezuelan-style Arepas
Heat vegetable oil in a large Dutch Oven over high heat until smoking. Add pork shoulder and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to a large plate.
Reduce heat to medium-high. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add chili and chicken stock and scrape up browned bits with a wooden spoon. Return pork to the pot along with bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a bare simmer. Cover and cook until pork is completely tender, about 2 1/2 hours.
Remove pork from pot with a slotted spoon and transfer to a medium bowl. Discard bay leaves, and increase heat to high. Boil until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup. Meanwhile, shred pork with two forks. Add liquid to pork and season to taste with salt and pepper (it may not need any salt).
Set aside while you make the Venezuelan-style arepas. Split arepas, stuff with pork, top with crumbled cheese and cilantro, and serve with lime wedges and avocado slices if desired.