Arepas de Puerco

De Arbol (Capsicum Annuum) means tree like in Spanish. The plant has thick, upright, woody stems and the chile itself is narrow, curved and bright red in color. Believed to be closely related to the pequin, the De Arbol is thin fleshed, with tannic, smoky, grassy flavor and searing heat. This chile has a heat range of 7.5 on the heat scale of 1-10. De Arbol Chiles are comparable to a Cayenne Pepper. Scoville heat units 15,000 to 30,000.

Suggested Use:
De Arbol is a hot chile and a staple in Southwest kitchens. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish. Be adventurous and add them to your next stew or chili along with the other spices. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish.

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1/2 cup luke warm water
2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup yellow corn meal


1-1/2 pounds pork butt, cut into pieces
1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 bunch, chopped fresh cilantro (reserve some for garnish)
3 chiles de arbol
3 Tbsp. achiote-pepper paste
2 Tbsp. Shichimi togarashi (Japanese spice blend)
2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup white vinegar
8 arepas


4 tsp. guacamole
1/2 cup sour cream
2 jalapeno chiles, seeded and sliced
black sesame seeds
thinly sliced scallions


To prepare the Arepas:

Combine the water and salt in bowl, then slowly mix in the cornmeal. Divide the mixture into 8 portions and roll into balls. Press into 1-1/2″ thick discs.

Cook over low heat in a nonstick pan until they are barely browned on each side, about 2 minutes. Cool and reserve.

To prepare the pork:

In a stockpot, combine the pork, onion, cilantro, chiles de arbol, achiote paste, shichimi, salt, hoisin and vinegar. Add water to cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and cook the pork until fork tender, about 3 hours.

Transfer the pork from the liquid and put in a separate bowl. Pull the pork apart with your fingers, then strain the liquid and return it to the bowl to cover the pork. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

To serve:

Cut 2 arepas in half lengthwise and layer each half with pork, 1 tsp. of guacamole, 1/2 tsp. of sour cream and a jalapeno slice. Garnish the dishes with sesame seeds, cilantro and scallions.

Recipe from Chef Richard Sandoval.