Arepa de Cordero Asado

It had been six months since my last arepa, and I knew I had to make a change… the Colombian side of my family had embraced me with open arms, yet I was letting them all down. No longer!

I was craving something different this time– so instead of the usual chicken, or black beans, I decided “fill” this batch with lamb (as usual, only the cheap cuts). I let it marinate in the garlic, herbs, and spices overnight, and there’s really nothing better. Once it sears, cover it and let it cook slowly–just like these carnitas until they are spoon tender. Then shred the meat, and you’re half-way there.

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I finished these with my charred green tomato salsa. This time, though, I tossed in a serrano chili to balance the richness of the lamb, and added both cilantro and parsley. Have I mentioned how good the salsa is yet? The green tomatoes cook just enough to soften, and the char on the garlic and peppers adds complexity. You can practically eat it with a spoon.

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By now, you can probably feel it— you’re almost done.You just have to make the actual arepas. Combine the fine cornmeal, cotija cheese, salt, water, and olive oil, then knead, flatten, and cook. It really that easy.

Let’s cook.

You’ll need:

2-3 lb Lamb Stew Meat

6 Cloves of Garlic

2 Green Tomatoes, quartered

1/2 Cotija Cheese

1 Serrano Chili

1 Bell Pepper

2 Green Onions

1 Guajillo Chili

1 Orange, juiced

2 Limes, juiced

1 Tbs Olive Oil

1 Cup Parsley, chopped

1/2 Cup Cilantro, chopped

2 Tbs Oregano

1 Tbs Rosemary

1 Tbs Thyme

1 Tbs Cumin

1 Tbs Paprika

1 Tbs Coriander

1 Tsp Garlic Powder

1 Tsp Black Pepper

Salt to taste

  1. Season the meat with all spices, garlic, and lime juice. Marinate for at least six hours. Allow it to come to room temperature before cooking.
  2. Sear in a heavy pot on med-high, then cover with foil,  and transfer to the oven-preheated to 375- and roast for 45 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Char whole green tomatoes, peppers, and garlic on a grill, or under the broiler. Cool, then puree with lime juice, parsley, cilantro, coriander, cumin, black pepper, and salt. Add olive oil, and taste for seasoning. Set aside.
  4. Combine arepa flour/extra-fine cornmeal, salt, pepper, olive oil, cotija, and water in a large bowl. Mix and kneed into dough, then separate into equal portions, and flatten.
  5. Heat a heavy pan on medium heat with a tsp of oil. Cook the arepas on both sides until golden.
  6. Plate, and serve.

Done.

 

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