Typical Dishes Venezuelan Gastronomy

Arepa Pelúa

Arepa Pelúa is one of the most famous Venezuelan arepas and owes its name to the hairy aspect of its filling. The shredded beef and grated yellow cheese in strands are the protagonists of this extraordinary presentation.

If you want to make a good Arepa Pelúa you must focus on two separate processes. First, you have to focus on the preparation of the filling and, later, on the preparation of the corn arepas. If you want you can, prepare the carne mechada (schredded beef) the day before and keep it in the refrigerator, in that case you will only have to heat it before filling your arepas.

MORE: Venezuelan Arepas Recipe

What is carne mechada?

Carne mechada” is one of the icons of Venezuelan gastronomy and is present in several traditional Venezuelan dishes. It is part of the famous pabellón criollo, one of the most famous Venezuelan recipes.

In this post, we will explain how to make carne mechada so you can fill your arepa. You will probably find different ways to prepare it because each family has its own style, but the main ingredients do not vary much.

How is Arepa Pelúa prepared?

Preparation time: 25 min

📝 Arepa Pelúa Ingredients:

  • 6 or 7 corn arepas (depending on the number of people).
  • Grated yellow cheese
  • Sliced meat

Ingredients for the carne mechada:

  • 2 pounds of beef, preferably some sort of brisket.
  • 1 red bell bell pepper (anyone you can find)
  • 2 large onions
  • 1 carrot
  • 200 ml beer
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon of sweet Spanish paprika
  • Worcestershire sauce or Worcestershire sauce to taste
  • Salt

Preparation of the carne mechada:

  1. To begin, cook the meat, preferably in a pressure cooker for 40 minutes. Use only water to cook or parboil the meat, do not add salt or seasoning. If you cook the meat in a conventional pot, it will take approximately 2 hours to tenderize.
  2. After 30 minutes of cooking, remove from the heat, take the meat out of the pot and let it cool. Very important: keep the cooking liquid, you will need it later.
  3. While the meat is cooling, prepare the ingredients for the base. Cut the onions into thin slices, the paprika into strips and the carrot into cubes or brunoise.
  4. Once the meat is cold, take the pieces and with a fork fray them from top to bottom in the same direction as the meat strands, in this way you will get the strands, before and during the frying process remove the fatty parts.
  5. In a large frying pan place a little oil and let it heat for about 20 seconds over medium heat. Add the onion, paprika and carrot and cook until golden brown, when it is ready add the garlic. Finally, add the beer and the shredded meat. Stir everything very well.
  6. Add seasonings to taste; salt, cumin, adobo, Worcestershire sauce, sweet Spanish paprika or paprika (especially for color). Add little by little the liquid left over from cooking the meat (about a glass). Keep stirring from time to time (for about 15 minutes) so that all the flavors integrate.

🥘 Preparation of the Arepa Pelúa:

With a vegetable grater you must grate the yellow cheese in strands (approximately 250 gr).
Take the arepa by the edge (you can use a napkin to do it). With a knife cut it until you open almost the entire circumference of the arepa. It is a similar process to opening a loaf of bread to prepare a sanduich.
Once the arepa is opened, you can spread butter on the inside (this is optional), then add the shredded meat and the grated yellow cheese in strands.
Ready! Now you can enjoy your delicious Arepa Pelúa.


Anonymous. (n.d.). Arepa Pelúa. Arepas Receta

Daniel D'Amato

By Daniel D'Amato

Daniel D'Amato is a regular Venezuelan who wants to give a glimpse of his country, Venezuela, to the rest of the world.